Shower rains down memories

Published 12:05 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

All of a sudden I realized it was raining. I looked out the window in my living room to find a pool building in the front yard. I opened the front door. Water tumbled in a steady stream from the roof to the sidewalk leading to the front porch. More water fell from the top of the house, and built puddles in the grass. Since it hadn’t been too long since I looked out my kitchen window at a clear sky, I knew it was one of those sudden showers that blows in, then ceases as suddenly as it arrives. When it did, it wouldn’t be long before the pool of water that had accumulated would disappear into the sandy south Alabama soil.

As I stood there gazing at the falling rain, memories flooded in. I found myself on the front porch of my aunt’s house in Panama City, Fla., with my cousin Harold and several other children. A sudden downpour surprised us while we made a path among some scrawny palmettos in the back yard. We scurried to the front yard and dashed up on the porch, dripping and bedraggled. We stamped our wet bare feet on the floorboards warm from the afternoon sun, and tried to shake the water off our clothes. After rubbing ourselves down with the towels my aunt furnished, we flopped down on the porch and rested a bit. What could we do now?

After debating on our choices, we set up Harold’s Monopoly board and sprawled around it on the porch. Raindrops still bounced from the roof, occasionally sending a fine spray our way. If I close my eyes, I can almost hear the plink, plink, plink of the raindrops dancing on the porch steps while we rolled dice, and popped our picks up down, moving the number of spaces the dice directed. Sometimes we broke into peals of laughter when somebody groaned in displeasure about where he or she landed on the board. There were both groans and squeals of delight when someone had to fork over a sizeable rent payment. Once in a while a minor dispute broke out. Mostly though, we remained congenial. We were intent upon buying property, collecting rent, and stacking up our “money.” We all tried to avoid those “Go to jail, go directly to jail” cards that set us back a bit.

We were so absorbed in our game that we barely noticed when the rain stopped. Although the colorful plants in my aunt’s flowerbeds had bent to the rain, their heads sprung up again. Pushing Monopoly aside, we rushed back to our palmetto site. We were just happy children, giving no thought to God’s gift of that shower.

It was only after reflecting years later that I came to appreciate how important those showers are. Not only do they wash away annoying pollen. They leave the world around us looking fresh and renewed.