19 Jan The Sound of Falling Rain Calms My Existential Angst
LAST NIGHT, I began to hear the drops of rain grow louder. The sound of rain is one of the most beautiful things to me. I walked to the doorway and looked into the sky; the rain passed through the orange street lights in endless motion.
I stopped to listen and closed my eyes, without doing anything else. I listened to the individual drops, continually hitting the ground. Why?
Perhaps it’s in our DNA — for millions of years we’ve listened to the soothing sound pattering against our dwelling. Inside, a fire dances, shadows create stories, and we’re thankful not to be out in the cold. Perhaps that’s it — the rain makes me thankful for the simple things I have, warmth and shelter, a book, thoughts. The rain creates a moment, an experience to savor.
Does the rain slow down time as it makes me stop and think? Or maybe it just averts my attention, grabs my interest — the unexpected sound when I thought the night was clear. I write about the rain because it changes me, makes me feel, makes me pause, and smile, and wonder.
What if every day is meant for something different? It’s likely that we do the same thing over and over every day without too much variation. That makes us who we are, at least who we think we are. But life is not the same. To write about the rain today differs from writing about it yesterday, although perhaps I’m getting closer to why I write about it in the first place. To write about the falling rain is to help me make sense of it; the simple falling rain, weather, which is really anything but simple. But we know the story well — it’s just the weather — and that makes us feel better, as if something in the world is consistent.
The Earth is at a different location in rotation of the sun. Think about that — we are being held by an invisible force to an enormous ball of fire in infinite space. Pretty awesome. Yet we’re down here, and I’m listening to the sound of rain, putting down these words. Perhaps the answers, the truth, whatever that may be, can be found in recognizing the incomprehensibility of it all.
We’re here where we are today because of a story. A story that has repeated itself throughout history, and if we don’t think consciously about it, we’ll become just another role, a chess piece, a pawn by default. We’re never explicitly told that we decide which role we’ll play — that’s up to us to figure out, and enact, and create our own rules.
It starts in our minds. What story are we going to believe and thus enact? The story of just being good enough to others and ourselves; the story of anxiety and fear that’s drummed into our subconsciousness?
There’s another way. It comes from giving more than you take in. It comes from attuning yourself to what’s true yet can’t be explained: the natural forces of existence, the calling of your heart and soul over the constant barrage of noise. But damn, it’s hard to separate the two.
I question what I want from life, if it’s really me writing these words, what me really means. But I’ll never get any closer to figuring out who I am from sitting back and waiting. Maybe we never really know for sure, and that’s the beauty of it.
I truly wonder what I’m doing this for; I think I hear the rain and want to write because, if all else fails, if I’m hurt, lost and broken, I have this. I have the rain to enliven my soul, and I have these words, to craft and mold and build, day after day until one day, perhaps I’ll know myself enough to understand my role in this great play.
I’m called to this, the quest to understand. We may look up into the infinitude of the cosmos and see nothing but darkness; but still we see something. Connections in the stars, maybe a message, maybe an answer. We see something in that emptiness because we want to know that this isn’t just by chance. We are here on this rock for a reason. And isn’t that something? To believe we’re here for a reason?
We’re alive at a point in time where the world is changing at an unfathomable rate. The stage is set, and the stage is empty. We create the future we’ll step into with every action we take, every thought we entertain, every word shared.
When I look into the night sky, when I hear the sound of rain pounding pavement, I’m happy. I feel that no matter what, I have this, and if this simple occurrence makes me stop what I’m doing and cherish this moment, I know I’ll always be okay. It can be as simple as just wanting to be a good person. It can be as simple as allowing ourselves the joy of simplicity. Human connection, generosity, love — these are the way forward — to stumble along the path of love is an endeavor worth fearlessly embarking on.
I don’t really know the significance of this story; but it’s another day on planet Earth, unlike there’s ever been before. Perhaps that’s enough of a reason to set down these words, so that I may start the day off on the path of wonder and love. I don’t know who I am, not entirely, by any stretch. But these words come from somewhere. It could be a force in me, looking for the way. It could be the falling rain, the thoughts of the night sky. It could be me, the truth in me, who’s afraid but more afraid of not trying — trying what? Trying. I don’t know, trying to be what I can be.