When I was a child, I lived in Samoa. Just for two and half years, but long enough that it imprinted itself onto my memories,
long enough that when it rains hard here, I remember the rain falling there.
I remember a day long ago, when it began to rain. Tropical rain, warm and heavy, rain you could dance in. We were in the kitchen and someone, perhaps my sister said, "Hey! Look at the other side of the house!" We looked, and it was dry. Not raining at all. So my sister and I ran, back and forth, from one side of the house to the other, back and forth with our hands sticking out the doors. Wet! Dry! One side, dancing water. The other side, the sun.
I lay with my girl tonight at bedtime thinking about it. Joy is imprinted into that memory as deeply as the moment itself.
Because that's how it goes, doesn't it? You have a moment, and if it's extraordinary enough (good or bad), it makes a mark on you.
My daughter has been using a recording of rain sounds (maybe real, maybe electronic?) to help her sleep at night. We have imagined ourselves lying in a treehouse, listening to the rain, and built our own images…where the beds lie, where there are bookshelves and whether there's a fireplace (yes for me, no for my girl). My daughter has filled her treehouse with cats. I have filled mine with books (and maybe a cat or two!). Every night we lie and listen to this pretend water falling in our pretend tree houses and every night we feel so cosy.
Tonight, we heard a rush, louder than the recording, louder than the imagined rooms we were in.
"Is that the rain? For real?" she said in an excited whisper.
"I don't know," I began, but she said,
"Turn off the music! Let's listen."
Sure enough. Real rain, whooshing down outside. Tumbling and making real noise in her real world.
She was utterly delighted.
"So," I asked. "Do you want the music on, or do you want to listen to the rain?"
The rain. The rain. Of course.
And I curled back into bed with my girl and sang.
I couldn't remember all the words. So I hummed and dum-de-dummed in places and made my daughter laugh.
Listening to it now, the words are sadder than I remember them. But I have always loved the feeling of the song, the feeling of water falling, the loveliness, and the notes lilting, cascading.
How I love water, of all kinds. But falling, moving, calling water, water that makes you sing, is water I love the best.
I can tell my daughter does too.