Rain Dances

A million tiny blue droplets water the morning. A woman with brown hair and kind eyes looks up from the Times crossword puzzle she has finished.  She gazes out beyond the glow of her kitchen window. She has experienced a multitude of wet days just like today. Watching the water trickle down the window pane takes her mind back to a simpler time, and a younger version of herself. . .

She is sixteen years old.  Frank Sinatra sings on Dad’s worn out record player.  The rain keeps time with the music. They are in his bookstore.  He peruses the rare books section while she does inventory. This is their Friday night ritual. Suddenly, a hand is on her shoulder.  She looks into her Father’s smiling eyes.  He takes her out to the middle of the store’s faded wood floor.  They dance.  He croons, “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky…Stormy Weather. Since my gal and I ain’t together…”  She laughs softly.  Everything is just as it should be; just the two of them suspended in that moment in time. No one can dance like Dad; not even Fred Astaire.

Thunder takes the woman back further. The clouds are darker now, and the rain unfriendly. She is brought back to the summer after high school. A knock at the door interrupts the musical she is watching on TV.  The Policeman’s face is stern, but his eyes are pained. Her only brother is gone, while a drunk driver sleeps unharmed at the hospital. She is overwhelmed by grief.  She gazes through the open doorway, up at the black clouds above. The TV is still on.  Judy Garland sings, “Somewhere over the rainbow…blue birds fly… if happy little bluebirds fly… beyond the rainbow, why can’t I?”  The young woman thinks of her brothers love filled life, and tears start to fall.

Outside her window the rain hastens down and suddenly the woman is twenty-four, and  about to graduate college. She walks home from a dance with the blue-eyed guitar player who sits across from her in English.  The sky turns from blue to grey in a matter of seconds. Water pours from the sky.  She starts running.  He pulls her back. For them the dance is not over. He swings her from left to right; twirling and swirling with the wind. They are drenched.  He serenades her, “And I wanna know…. Have you ever seen the rain? . . . Coming down on a sunny day” She laughs as his voice cracks. They are meant for each other.

The skies start to clear, and she is brought back to the comfort of the small friendly kitchen. Today she is thirty-five.  Her little blue-eyed, brown-haired boy is dancing on the front lawn; slipping and sliding on the wet grass.  He looks up at her with smiling eyes and shouts, “It’s raining, it’s pouring. The old man is snoring…”  She laughs and runs out to him singing, “He went to bed, and bumped his head, and couldn’t get up till morning.”