You know those moments when everything around you just freezes for a moment and you suddenly know something more then you did a moment before? I had one tonight!
We have had about one inch of moisture in our area since the beginning of the year (and I'm really not exaggerating!). There have been water restrictions on everything for the past couple of months. I live in an irrigation farming district and with these types of springs comes a feeling of doom... a realization that whatever money is put into a crop will probably not come back out. We, who have a monthly paycheck, with a set income can comprehend what it feels like to come down to those last 3-4 days of the month and know you have no money so you just pray you make it to payday... but can any of us really understand what that would feel like if there were well over 365 days before the next paycheck? Growing up on a farm, I know I exaggerate a bit but I do believe it must be overwhelming.
It is also June now... the last two weeks I've gone into a building that is usually full of teenagers - hormones bursting at the seems - laughter and friendship encase you when you walk in. But as finals approach each year, a tension overtakes the school... students, parents, teachers and administrators all take on a different presence. Those spontaneous happy moments are replaced with pressure, expectation, anticipation and sometimes even fear! Grade 12s begin to talk about their "lasts"... this is their last English class or their last Chemistry class. This is the last time they will ride the bus. This is the last time they have to participate in morning assembly. And although the excitement and anticipation is what they show you outwardly, you also feel the sharp edges in their words and emotions. Once again things are changing... and I know as a teacher that when I come back in September the feel of the school will not be the same for we will have lost part of our personality. It will be rebuilt with a whole new personality but for now, in the middle of the loss, that does not matter.
Its not a sad feeling... its more an understanding and acceptance of the cyclical way that life works but in these moments when there is so much emotion, you seldom have it interrupted by a moment of complete joy!
But tonight... a wind comes rolling in... and before you see the clouds you actually hear them RUMBLING in and then with a clap of thunder that demands your attention, the rain starts to fall. It beats down faster and heavier with each passing moment and its beautiful and just exactly perfect for this moment in time. The rain could not have chosen a better night to announce its presence. All the students in the area have finished their exams today and the evening can be spent once again in blissful teenage 'nothingness' rather then in and 'adult-state of stress and panic'. And all night long I've sat at my window, experiencing the rain with all my senses but more so then the rain, I've been touched time and time again as I hear voices of laughter and then see children from 6 right through to about 25 dancing up and down the street... their heads thrown back completely abandoning the hold that we often pride ourselves on holding over our lives. Dancing and stomping and their clothes so wet they stick right to their skin... some even laughing so hard that they fall in the puddles.
And as I see a couple more go by, I think of my sweet baby boy asleep in his crib and how he seems to know this joy every minute of everyday. For him, it doesn't take a rainstorm after a drought to elicit that joy that reaches right to the bottom of your toes. For him, its as simple as getting up in the morning... as simple as singing a Barney song... or getting McDonald's French Fries! Could you imagine being stuck in that moment where you realize more then they did before every second of the day... every second of your life? Sometimes that is what I think it is like for Mikey... he seems to 'know' so much more then I do.
And then I think of all those people who look at him and *think* how about how sad it is... I wish there were a way to let them know that to me he appears to forever be dancing in the rain and stomping in the puddles... the only thing that is sad about that is that the rest of us are so often holed up inside our houses afraid to go outside - because it might be cold, or wet, or messy, or, God-forbid "childish"!