It's rainy season now. We are in the middle of summer. For the last few days, the entire country is experiencing outbreaks of heavy rain. Some will call it “it's raining cats and dogs”. Others will say “it's pouring rain”. But whichever be the description, for my part, don't be surprised if I'll tell you that watching carefully torrential rain is the most popular leisure activity of mine.
It all started six decades ago when we were living in a hut made of wood, bamboo sticks and dry sugar-cane leaves. For the six children, it was collective good fun sitting on gunnysacks under the verandah's thatched roof and observing the pouring rain.
Little drops converge to create torrents
Come the 1960s when my mother managed to build a house made of wood and corrugated iron. Once more, the habit of feasting our eyes on the summer rains was really enjoyable and amusing. And what's more, the pattering of the rain on the corrugated iron roof was great fun. It was music to the ears of the illiterate and the innocent. And when outbreaks of rain pelted the corrugated iron, the soft music turned into a loud one. The fun was even greater !
Time flies. We are now in 1984. This time, though, I succeeded in building a small house made of concrete. Oh yes, I am a creature of habit. It's by natural instinct that I just sit down calmly in the verandah to gaze out of the window when it's pouring down. Of course, the melodious pitter-patter of rain on the corrugated iron roof is absent. However, when torrential rains pelt the trees and the ground below, the music is as soothing. So old habits die hard ! But it's great fun to stick to them. Heaven-sent ! To relax and meditate. If only the sky would have provided such rains every day !
Small drops dig holes into solid rocks
That's a nostalgic look back at past habits. They have now developed into those of a lifetime. Back to the same favourite pastime but of nowadays. It rained hard during the weekend. As it happened, my instinctive love for pelting torrential rains drove me to stop all the other indoor activities and just sit down to contemplate and meditate for a moment. Another hobby surfaced automatically. It's that of thinking critically and creatively on the rain factor.
LISTED BELOW ARE BUT A FEW IDEAS OR LESSONS-THOUGH IN NO ORDER OF PRIORITY :
1) Rainwater is a clear liquid without colour, smell or taste. Therefore, it's a common denominator to all those who are biased against colour, smell and taste. What a formidable lesson of Nature !
2) A simple grey cloud-up in the sky-is meaningless. Such small and weak clouds are found in the desert, too, where it never rains. However, the same unimportant clouds when mixed up with a mass of other dark and dense clouds-together create a powerful cumulonimbus towering mass which results in lightning, thunder and heavy rains. In the selfsame way, one single drop of water has no power. But once combined with others, the drops turn into a deluge. Floods are often devastating and fatal. And then drop by drop, a big reservoir can be filled up. Also when harnessed, the power of water generates electricity. Mankind converts it to other purposes, too-agricultural, industrial, military, etc, etc. Obviously, provided that the drops are converged into torrents. Just imagine what would have been the fate of reservoirs if individual rivers, streams and canals would not have all merged into them.
WHAT'S THE LESSON ? Clouds, rain, rivers, streams and reservoirs all teach us that strength lies in unity. When mingled into a single united block, they form a formidable force. It can be beneficial as well as detrimental to human beings. All told, the fact remains that single-handedly, drops are helpless, powerless and meaningless. Union means recognition and respect. Lesson from rain at no extra cost !
3) Rewind to rainwater falling down on the ground from the 1950s thatched roof. My mother had placed some flat stones just beneath to prevent mud from splashing over. All the stones had a line of small holes. Consistent drops of water over the course of time had been able to dig holes into the solid stones.
LESSON ? Did you realize the power of consistent small drops ? Well, it's called perseverance-determination to keep trying to achieve something in spite of difficulties. Who could have thought that small drops of water can penetrate into solid stones ?
4) Besides, in my mind's eye, there is yet another compelling lesson of heavy rains. Not only do they thoroughly wet the hot ground below ; help plants and animals ; fill up the underground aquifers ; clean up the environment-but most importantly they also cool down the atmosphere and cool off tensions and tempers among worried and angry people. Nature provides the best medicine !
To your dismay, let me put an end here. It was drizzling. But now it has started raining heavily. Let me watch and relax.