The Joy of an Afternoon Rain

JOY, TO ME, is the scent of rain that falls upon a world of dirt and stone. There are layers of perception within every moment, those that fill the active space which we seldom stop to perceive.

I write this now in the afternoon, while seated at a dark, faded, red and metal table.

All at once the thunder booms, the rain strengthens, and the village bell begins to resonate.

There’s the sound of birds chirping underneath the sound of rain. There’s the constant buzz of insects. There’s the sound of my thoughts, trying to make sense of it all.

It doesn’t need to all make sense to experience what it is to be a human being gifted with perception.

Scents, colors, sounds evoke feelings; our minds wander of their own volition.

Feelings conjure memories; memories make us dig within ourselves as we parse the world, a mosaic of potential connections.

Our present, our past — they aren’t objective, concrete realities. They’re permeable, allowing feelings and emotions to pass through and change them in the process.

The subtle sweet smell of the nourished earth isn’t just what I’m sensing at the moment; it contains the times when I’ve felt as I do now, and what made me feel this way.

The smell of flowers and coolness in the air illuminate the depths of my soul.

I’m not sure if I yet know a feeling that surpasses the profound joy evoked by the sound of rain.

That pattering of earth touched by the sky opens up a flood of memories, and those memories are nothing but emotions, emotions that take me back to here.

I know I’ll be okay, because that sound exists.

Within that sound is the joy of traveling with my dad, both delighting in the rain.

In that space between the earth and the sky, thunder booms in the far-away hills. Within that boom is the crackle of the fireplace in winter, the simplicity of being young.

Although I’ve grown, I still seek that simplicity. It’s there, I know it is.

I’ve caught a note of what the world contains. I’ve opened up the possibilities of what I can do.

This life can become increasingly complicated by the weight we bear, but it can also be simple. The decision is embedded in every act. It coincides with who we hope to be.

The afternoon stillness gives me everything I could want — the freedom to listen, to wonder, and to look back through my life.

Today, I swam in the sea. I played basketball under the grey summer sky.

I picked strawberries in the morning and smelled flowers, vivified by the rain in the afternoon.

These moments have cost me nothing, and they’ve given me everything, a chance to see myself as I truly want to be.

What does it take to be happy, or satisfied, or fulfilled?

I can’t be certain, yet something tells me the answers lay in the moments when we can feel a natural sense of energy, peace, or joy. Pay attention to when you feel this way.

I felt this way today.

That lovely smell — stone, concrete, the earth touched by the sky, perhaps one that’s instilled with more meaning for me than any other — it’s all I really need, because in that feeling is the path to love, and there’s no telling where that might take us.

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