rain came down

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It rained today… that’s not unusual in a lot of places, but around here it’s a rarity. I know the desert needs the rain, but more than that, it just might be that all of us can use a change of pace that the rare rain brings. Living in Arizona, we tend to have what I like to call “rain memories.” Since it doesn’t happen with regularity, it leaves lasting impressions.

My sophomore year in high school it rained like we lived in the tropics. The city was growing and they were widening the street that I crossed to get to school. The obsolete two lane road was being transformed into a six lane speed way, but the project was halted due the pounding rain.

The would be utopian dream was a bog, an almost impassable swamp… almost. For the brave and nimble, a scattering of busted up giant chunks of concrete could be navigated at the quarter block to save almost a half a mile detour around the swamp.

Of the hundreds of kids who lived in the area of the neighborhood that had to get to school from that direction, only a handful of us dared to cross the muddy unofficial obstacle course. I can’t remember all the details, but I do remember I was running late to my “early bird” english class.

I also remember vividly running home full speed in hopes of avoiding any witnesses to my resemblance to the Creature From The Black Lagoon, caused of course by the false jump on the concrete bog obstacle course… Oh yeah – accidents happen, my friend…

As I ran to avoid any witnesses, of course, two popped up, worse yet, girls my age I knew… I don’t blame them for laughing, I would have laughed too.

That same rainy season I recall my dad was home on a Saturday morning. That was a rarity as well, my dad usually worked six days a week, but the continuing rain kept him from it. My next door neighbor Lanny who turned out to be a lifelong close friend,  his pal Dale and I were playing tag in the rain on our skateboards.

I remember my dad watching us slip and fall, rip our clothes and skin while he sipped a steaming cup of coffee from under our carport. My dad’s laughter still echos across those raindrops. Even after decades of time it can still be heard inside my mind, as I watch the raindrops remembering some of the ones long past.

The spring finally came and sopped up the overflow of the sky like a piece of bread does gravy. The earth moving equipment improved our city, no more open irrigation ditch, new unseen storm drains handled the overflow. They installed a crosswalk where we used to time, dodge, and race traffic.

Right about the place where I slipped and fell in the mud of the road construction is where Joe, a kid I played football with, got hit and killed by a car… seconds in front of me.

The rain came down again and washed away Joe’s blood stains… Rain can wash away many things, but not our memories. I think God uses the raindrops to remind us of our lives and the blessings He’s provided along the way. I needed a change of pace, I think we all do now and then.

It’s good to reflect, it helps lead us like a rainbow toward wisdom, which is worth more than a pot of gold…

I saw the reflection of my past in the raindrops today.

I’m glad it rained today, I needed to catch up with myself again…