Our Own Rainbow

I remember there was this one morning when my mom randomly woke me up abnormally early when I was a little girl, not older than six. I didn’t have school that day, so I was confused as to why we were getting up. It was so cold and rainy outside, just enough for you to hear the raindrops fall, but not violent enough to be scary.  My well-trained kid ears could sense it was the soft, slow type of rain with the big, fat raindrops. It made for a nice morning to just stay in bed. Somehow those are so comforting. As if they’re a reminder that the Sky, as big and grand as she is, needs a gentle cry from time to time too. Maybe my mom had this same thought about Lady Sky because that morning, she woke me up as though we were going to spend some time with a friend. 

My mother had an air of calm excitement, in a way that let me know we were going to do something new that we might not get another chance to do again. “Do you want to walk with me in the rain?”, she asked as gently as the softly falling raindrops, with which she wanted to go outside and mingle with. “Okay!”, I said with as much excitement as a bundled up sleepyhead could. But I really was excited. Truly. For the first time, my little heart had felt a different kind of excitement. It wasn’t the usual one I knew as a kid that made me jump up & down in joy, squealing, yelling, and laughing. Though this level of excitement was equal, it was grounded within me. It held me, captivated me, and lit me up right there where I stood peacefully getting all bundled up with my mom. There was practically no article of winter clothing that we passed up putting on. With every layer, that excited grounding glow grew. It was all sweatshirts, scarves, and layers but it felt like getting dolled up to meet someone special. With this anchored joy in my heart I went for a walk in the rain with my mom. Without that chaperone umbrella that usually guarded the separation between us and the storms. “Not today umbrella, today’s rain is different.”  

Do you remember how, when we were kids, we didn’t have to put effort into enjoying things? We didn’t cling onto the happy moments in anxious anticipation for something else to come along and ruin it? We didn’t overthink, we didn’t question. We didn’t wonder if we deserved this happiness. When did that even become a thing? We just enjoyed. Because there was something to enjoy. On that blissfully rainy morning, I sank right into it, that anchored enjoyment. Thinking about this now, I’m wondering what more there needs to be to it.  But not all is lost with growing up. I knew, even then, that I would remember this experience for the rest of my life, and that was so exciting and special to me. Now, I have a word for that grounded excitement and anchored enjoyment- sentiment. And this story is the first memory I have in my life of not only feeling, but foreseeing sentiment. As I write this, I can hear my inner-child all bundled up just as I was that morning saying, “See? I told you we’d remember. I told you we’d come back to this moment for the rest of our life.”

I remember having a sweatshirt, multiple jackets, a hooded poncho, and a beanie so to be honest, at the time, I could barely even see much of what was in front of me. It was pretty much just the next square in the cement sidewalk that acted as my horizon. But that was ok. It was perfectly fine. I’ve seen my neighborhood all wet before, whether it was through the window of a car or regretfully out of my bedroom window because I couldn’t go out and play. But this time, I was out there, and there was so much more to be seen with my other senses. The sounds of the raindrops hitting against my plastic poncho were like the rain tapping my shoulder, excited I’ve finally come out to play with them instead of only with the sunshine. There was the unprecedented combination of seeing my breath leave my lungs into the cold in the form of a small cloud, but still feeling comfy cozy warmth inside my body. It reminded me of the warmth I felt in my bed, but here I was, walking in the rain, getting the same feeling holding my mom’s hand walking by her side. It’s like we were the sunshine amongst the rain, playing in it and with it. Up until that point, I didn’t know they could coexist, no matter how big the sky might be. I thought it was either rain OR shine, but there we were anchored in our enjoyment, creating sentimental moments- the shine amongst the rain, making our own rainbow. 

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