Originally published in 2007
The train came out of the tunnel and I looked out to see the dark clouds. Fear came over me as I remembered that I didn’t have an umbrella. I hoped that I would make it to my station before the rain began, but there it was, that first drop on the window.
We reached my station and I stepped out onto the platform and I could feel moisture. I reached for my green sweater to cover up the white blouse I wore, a necessity that created yet another source of heat in an already unbearably humid day.
I walked up to just inside the door and hesitated. Should I run and try to beat the storm or should I stay here and wait it out with the other commuters? Without further hesitation I chose to leave the safety of shelter and surrendered myself to the downpour. I meant to run to my destination as I was in a hurry, but as I felt the first cool drops against my skin I chose to embrace them and walk instead.
The coolness of the water provided a surprising relief from the heat. I felt a sense of freedom as I looked up to the sky and the drops streamed down my face. I wanted to skip, I wanted to dance, I wanted to play; because for a moment I was a child again. I was free from worries and naïve in my amazement at the simple beauty of a life we make complex. I wanted to turn and invite those who had chosen shelter to join me in feeling the coolness, in feeling the wonder.
Then I reached my destination and the moment was over. I no longer felt cool, but instead cold. I no longer felt free, but rather the weight of the burdens of adulthood. I felt wet and tired. I wanted to run back and relive that beautiful moment over and over again, but with a sense of sadness I knew that it was over; there wouldn’t be a do-over. That moment would just have to live inside my mind, burned into memory like a photograph to be pulled out as a reminder that I am strong enough to let go, even if for just a moment.