The Company of Rain

She appreciated the company of the rain, the only company she currently had. It was cold and unrelenting, but it was present. The sound of the drops ruptured in waves, at times deafening, at others melodic, drumming against the roofs, streaming off the awnings to crash into the shifting cement below. It seemed to breathe in and out, like a human being would under conditions of emphatic emotion. Its drops were constant chatter, and she loved to listen. The times it was deafening, the rain ranted to her, confiding its emotions of rage or frustration, or even regret at its occasional hand of destruction. It drew on her calm for its own release, its own healing. You didn’t know the rain needed healing, did you? She did.

When it calmed, the rain loved to converse with her. It told her of all the wonders of the far away places it graced, the redemption of the desert when Rain momentarily settles, the reassurance of the forest when the drops dance on its leaves. The rain painted pictures of the moonlight bleeding onto falling drops, the whisper of shine as car lights pierced them. It told her the secrets of the star-crossed love between the sun and the clouds. Everyone thought it was the sun and the moon, but oh, no. They were just old friends. But the sun and the clouds. Each so counter to the other, but both so infatuated. It told her of the sad and happy scenes only the rain, well, and the moon, had ever laid eyes on, the defeated lovers saying melancholy goodbyes at midnight, the giggling couples who came to see the stars but found the unanticipated rain just as lovely, the overflowing hearts of humans rescuing shivering dogs and soaking cats from the sides of roads. The latter sights particularly pleased Rain, for, after all, it preferred to nurture, not to inflict. It sang of the red-eye morning births of foals, and the late night homecomings of dads and soldiers.

The rain told her all these things, and she told the rain what it was like when the sun returned after a storm. The rain never got to see that. She told it of the sunrays glimmering off of pools of water left behind, the grateful dance of satiated flower petals, the glittering, steaming streets. And she taught the rain about permanence, eternity. She taught the rain what it was to say goodbye. Rain in its transience only ever knew places, people for minutes at a time, maybe hours or days in some cases. But never for years like humans do. She taught the rain how it felt to leave a place to which you once belonged, a town, school, or home, and to return to it years later, only to find it isn’t yours anymore. She told Rain about the bittersweet or downright painful goodbyes of people you thought would be in your life forever, lost to death, geography, or simple time. She told the cascading droplets what it was like to live so long in a world that changed so often. She revealed stories brimming with emotions, memories of cacophonous laughter until you can’t breathe, moments of perfect harmony when passion and possibility click in limitless expectation, nights of blistering tears and chest-racking sobs, periods of utter lows, trapped in times you can’t get back, but must always live in.

She taught the rain what it was to say goodbye.

While Rain only glimpses moments, minutes, of lives, humans know them intimately. She taught the rain what it was like to know every detail of a town, every street sign, every building, every secret. She told the captivated water how it felt to experience each up and down of another human’s life, not every once and a while, but every day, and what it meant to stand by them.

These are the places, people to whom you must to say goodbye. And no amount of words will ever convey this bittersweet paradox. But we must express ourselves. We must try. So we continue to talk to the rain.

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