Life isn't about how to survive the storm…

… but how to dance in the rain.

I walked around this lunch time precisely to find some nice cards in the local Papyrus across Bryant Park on 42nd street.  I picked up this very simple card by Niquead which had such a profound message I actually did a double take.

How very apt at a time I am trying to survive the storm, and forgetting about dancing in the rain.

The thought actually made me smile, and there aren’t that many thoughts that make me smile these days.  Have you ever had those moments when you look up at the sky and all you see is grey, and no matter how you try to shake it, you feel a sense of gloom around you?  I walked across Bryant Park today for a change of scenery instead of staring at the pavement as I walked to the card store, and it felt like everything was just staid and gray.  The bare branches of the trees lining the inner perimeter of the park seemed to be tired and weak and folded in surrender.

There were small puddles of water that framed reflections of the trees above and the buildings around.  All in black and white.  The chairs and tables were empty probably because rain was threatening in the horizon.  It wasn’t quite the park that burst into life during the lunchbreak.

I walked slowly and deliberately, trying to carry my heart across the wallk.  I could hear it beating loudly in my head — the usual songs I listened to were silent.  I couldn’t bear to listen to them today.   Too many things associated with each one.  So I listened to the hustle and bustle of the vehicles criss crossing through 42nd street instead.

I got an answer to an e-mail which left much to be desired about being nice.  While on its face it seemed cordial enough, the words were veiled with a sarcasm that seemed to show the writer had bared her fangs.  I was just genuinely worried about a friend but parts of the response I got sort of threw me back.  Then again, I guess I asked for it when I sent my message first.  What was it that our moms used to say to “make nice”?

And would it hurt so much to answer the phone?  You never know if the person calling is ready to jump in front of a speeding bus or jump out the top floor of some skyscraper.  You’ll never know if hearing that voice of the one calling on the other line might actually be just what you need to take your pains and cares away —  the voice of reason you need to hear to help you through your struggle.  Each unanswered call was like a hammer down the heart, but each attempt was a ray of hope.  And you cannot help but cling to hope in the midst of the doom and gloom of the grey skies.

You cling to promises made.  You hang on to what you feel.  Closing your eyes in prayer, you whisper “Please..”.  Somewhere, it will be heard.  Maybe not now, but hopefully soon.

Why can’t we learn how to dance in the rain?

It might actually make our lives more tolerable  — our sins from the past easier to live with.  If we learn to let go and move forward with a sense of renewed purpose, those we had wronged or taken happiness away from might actually look down upon us from the heavens and say it’s alright to find our own bliss wherever that may be.  The rain might actually remind us that it has washed away the past so we can move along and get on with our lives.   And maybe we won’t make the mistake of fearing that we would commit the same wrongs with the new people in our lives again.  Then we can dance in the rain.

I have my own dreams about the rain — dreams that would make me smile when I think of them.  I like the pitter-patter of the water on the window pane as I watch from the inside, all warm and cozy with a blanket on my lap.  I like watching rain pound the leaves as it falls to quench the summer thirst of flora and fauna back home in Manila.

But to dance in the rain would be divine.  It would be liberating.  It would be just the little girl in me performing for an audience of none.

And even if I don’t feel like dancing these days, I dream of days when I would think of dancing in the rain again.  Maybe when my heart can smile again, instead of fighting off the loud thumping pulling at it from all directions.  I need to find that sense of calm so that I can bring the same to those whose hearts I hold in mine like my little one.

We often focus on the storm we are struggling to survive but survival is part of human nature.  It’s the lightness of feet that finds us — that dancing feeling once the storm has settled — that point where after we pick up the pieces again we look at what we have and say a genuine thank you  that we have something left and we make something out of it all.  That’s the “dancing in the rain” bit that sets us apart when the sun shines anew.

The sun has set over Manhattan and I’m getting ready to go home.  There’s a congestion in my chest — allergies maybe.  The thumping in my head is still there.  I feel defeated by my ailments today, but I am trying to cling to thoughts of dancing in the rain again.  I whisper my plaintive cries to the heavens and hope it lands up in the mountains where the Gods are — and may they pay heed.  I close my eyes and whisper again “Please…”

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