“I bet by with a little help from my friends.” – The Beatles
So many friends in this photo, on a rainy day!
Autumn giving way to winter
Too soon – the sun has been
Guiding our days infiltrating our dreams
Inviting mountain views warming the skin
And then it rains
And then it rains
A sweet whisper about passage
And the view comes closer
We draw within, examine cold hands
Attend to shortened breath
See the tree in the foreground
Color clinging still
Life upon life upon life
– Tammy T. Stone 2015
September is typhoon season in Japan, and the weather is wildly unpredictable, and also rather rain-heavy. Nagoya is a fairly moderate place to live, climate-wise, so our rain is usually a steady drizzle – my heart always goes out to those affected by the eye of the storms …
I was honing my lens in on the beautiful raindrops on this nearby tree (as the tree begins to withdraw into itself, this autumn …) when my peripheral vision caught the woman walking into my frame. I love that we can see her figure, and that of the umbrella, as she ambles down the street with her shopping carriage.
It was a hot summer day, bright and bold.
A leaf sat on the sill along with many other leaves just like it, not young and not yet old. Despite being taken care of, it was almost wilting in the searing heat when suddenly, the sky bloomed into the moodiest dark and rain began to fall, softly and soundlessly at first, and then louder and more thunderous still.
Soon the rain was pelting the ground, ferocious and resounding. The leaf, protected by a thatched roof overhead, remained dry, though it could well sense that something was underfoot. The air was charged and the day had the feel of magic about it.
It wasn’t long before the rain eased into a light pattering. One of the raindrops splashed up from the ground and landed on the leaf’s broad, sky-facing side, at just the right angle so it could remain there without sliding off.
The leaf shook with electric fervor, and in a jolt of inspiration, felt far more than the raindrop’s mere arrival onto it skin. It came alive to all its senses and more, could see the raindrop, smell and taste it too.
For a second, the leaf merged with the raindrop and knew, for a moment, exactly what it would be like to be so perfectly clear, radiant and engorged with life, which seemed now to the leaf like something we could all be, all at once, now and forever.
The feverish first dance coursing through the leaf passed, and now it slumped a little, aching to be the raindrop, to have come from the great sky beyond the thatched roof, knowing that to the sky it would return, and so it pleaded with the raindrop,
Oh, take me with you!
I am tired of the ground, of my earthly shelter and all the shadows falling upon me.
Please take me on your water journey away and up, let me bounce here and there and fall and melt and slide with you, and absorb all Life has to offer, just like you.
At that moment, another raindrop splashed up from the ground and bounced onto the leaf, right on top of the first raindrop, so that the two became one.
The weight of it was too much for the leaf to bear.
The leaf sighed and then heaved with something emergent in its very core, as the large, world-reflecting raindrop bulged and swayed and started to roll to the edge of the leaf. The leaf felt the raindrop gather at its outermost tip and said,
I understand. You are about to leave me now. This is the nature of things.
I will put all my sadness and grief into this very moment, that we are sharing together, and allow you, the raindrop, to become my most important and courageous tear, and I will cry out all my regret and confusion, and I will let it all go with the rain as you tumble to the ground.