Allow me to say a few things before this rain is made a utility that they plan and distribute for a price. By “they” I am speaking of those who do not understand that rain is a celebration, those who do not appreciate its gratuity, those who think that what carries no cost has no value, that what cannot be sold as material is not real, and that the only way to make something real is to place it on the market as something material.
Yes, the time will come when they try and sell you even your rain, such is capitalistic theory. At the moment it is still free, and I am in it, dancing. I celebrate its gratuity and its worthlessness all the same.
This rain I am in is not like the rain that falls in the city. It fills my surroundings with an immeasurable and confused sound. It shields the slanted roof of my home with His persistent and controlled rhythm. And I listen, because it reminds me again and again that the whole world is run by rhythms I have yet to learn how to recognize, rhythms that are not those of man but of Him, the Engineer.
As I meander through this rain, sloshing through this deserted night, I stumble upon a temporary shelter as the night has fallen dark. The rain has walled me in with an immense virginal myth, a whole new world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor.
Just to think of it: all its noiseless speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging no one, soaking the parched ground, drenching the trees, filling the streams in this wild with rejuvenated water, washing out the dwellings that have stripped the wild of its heart.
What a thing to be here dancing in this rain, in the forest, in the darkness of night, cherished by this wonderful, dripping, perfectly innocent speech, the most gentle comfort in the world, with the kind of talk it makes alone all over the ridge lines, upon the edges of my mind, and through the conversations of streams throughout the hollows of my soul.
No one started it, and no one is going to stop it. It will speak as long as it wants, after all, this rain was of the Engineer. As long as it speaks I am going to listen.
But I am also going to sleep, because here in this wilderness I have learned how to sleep again beneath the dampness of a dripping wet lullaby. Here I am not unknown. The trees I know, the rain I have known, and this darkness of night, I have known for too long. I shutter my eyes and sink into the stream of this rain soaked darkness of which I am part, and the stream goes on with me in it, for I am not unknown to it.
I have become unknown to the noise of the city, to the greed of machinery that knows nothing of sleep, the hum of power that swallows up the night. Where rain, sunlight and darkness are held in contempt, I cannot sleep. In my older age, I have found it harder to trust anything that has been fabricated to replace the true nature of my wild.
I carry zero confidence in places where the air is first fouled and then cleansed, where the water is first treated with something deadly and then deemed “safe” with other poisons in the name of greedy filth.
All of this is the asphyxiation of a myth. The city lives its own myth by choking the reverence out of nature. Instead of waking up and silently existing, they prefer a material and fabricated dream. They have constructed a world outside the world, against the world, a world of mechanical fiction, which condemn nature and seek to only use it up, thus making it harder for nature to renew itself, and that of man.
Of course this celebration of rain cannot be stopped, not even in the city. The woman from the deli scampers along the crosswalk with a newspaper disguised as an umbrella, scared to get wet. Men traipsing down the road like ballerinas, so not to get their little loafers soaked.
The streets, suddenly washed, become transparent and alive. The noise of traffic gives way to the splashing of splendid fountains. Kids bouncing from one endless pool to the next, not a care in the world. Children are well aware of the celebration of rain. As there was nothing more important than in the moment of a sudden rainstorm through the eyes of a child. The joy soaks through their souls and gives life to their innocent and blooming imaginations.
One would think that the city folk in a rainstorm would have no choice but to take into account the nature of its fresh wetness, its baptism and its renewal. And they themselves would assume that noise is left to the wilder ones, the country boys. To the city folk, the rain brings no renewal, renewal can only be found in the forecast of tomorrow, and the glint upon the windows of buildings will then have nothing to do with the new and blue sky.
“Reality” will remain somewhere inside those walls, counting itself while selling itself with frantic and complex determination. Meanwhile the disgruntled patrons scatter through the rain bearing the load of their obsession, with more vulnerability than before, but still barely aware of the reality of rain.
They do not see the light that shines with reflective beauty from the mirrored puddle, and which they themselves are walking on water with the same stars as above, or that they are running through the sky to catch a ride, on their way to a shelter somewhere in the Associated Press of an irritated social life.
But they do know that there is dampness abroad. Perhaps they even feel it. I cannot say. Their complaints are more often than not, mechanical and lacking spirit or soul, but every once in awhile comes a smile…
Naturally no one may believe the things said about this rain today. It all implies one simple lie: only material is real. That weather, not being planned, not being fabricated, is impertinent, a blankness on the expression of progress. (Just a simple little operation, and its whole wet mess may become relatively tolerable. Let business make the rain that will give meaning to its meaning.)
They sit in their city and criticize the hardships of rain and of nature. I sit in my own little piece of wild and wonder about a world that has both, progressed and regressed, and vice versa. I have at one point or another guessed that I am part of what I thought I must escape. But I’ve learned upon this arid path that it is not a matter of escaping. It is not even a matter of speaking with a boisterous voice. It is a matter of soaking it all up and waiting til the surroundings in which I sit needs it to grow.
Industry is here. Utility is also here and both are here to stay. When the utilities of PG&E illuminate and warm my home, it is no one’s fault but my own. I admit it. I no longer kid anyone, not even myself, they keep me safe from their wild out here in my wild. They will suffer not from my bluff, and I will pay them their patronizing complacencies in the silence of this rainfall.
I will let them think they know what I am doing here in my own little wild. Let them call me a…
Suddenly, a light flips on, and behind it, scampering footsteps follow in the same delicate pattern that pitter-patters much like this rain. They fancy their way upon the window seal of my old broken soul.
They came heavy at first, but oh so gentle did they turn as genuine happiness approached, the kind of happiness that God’s magic was made of. The boy, for whom some of these words today have been written, was now awake, so therefore I must, we must, escape these thoughts, as it’s time to get him ready for the day.
And from his wise little mouth, the first spoken thoughts of this morning poured upon me like a stream of dampened light. A light so simple and pure, it put the darkness to bed.
“Dad, are we gonna play in the rain again today?”
“Soon enough kid, soon enough”