“Papa,” asked the little boy, “why do you like the rain so much?”
His father, a towering man of fifty, looked down and smiled. They were holding hands in a summer shower. Raindrops danced upon the rainbow-colored umbrella held open above them, wetting the ground around them, turning sand into mud. Their slippers squelched as they trodded carefully along the wooded road.
The boy continued to look up at him curiously. He knew his father was going to impart his years of wisdom; it was the old man’s ways, and he was used to it. He paid quiet attention to the man as he stood, lost in thought.
“Well, son,” he finally said in a deep voice, “maybe you should tell me first why you don’t like the rain before I tell you why I like it.” And then he smiled, a heart-warming gesture that instantly put you at ease and showed you that this man was one-of-a-kind.
“Because, papa,” spoke the boy, “rain is wet and cold. It makes me and my friends sick with the cold when we get caught in it.”
His father nodded sagely at these words. Feeling quite encouraged by his father’s silent agreement, the boy continued, speaking slightly louder now:
“My slippers become dirty when I walk in mud created by the rain. Mommy always gets mad if I come home with mud on my clothes or shoes.
“I can’t play football in the field while it rains. Rainclouds are grey and make me feel gloomy.”
The boy stopped walking for a moment and tugged his father’s hand. The old man stopped too, then turned to look at the little boy once more.
“So why do you like the rain, papa?”
The father smiled at his little son’s curiosity. He answered in a clear voice that cut through the pitter-patter of the falling rain:
“Because rain nourishes the ground we stand on. Rain feeds the plants and animals that we need to make our lives comfortable. Rain fills the great rivers and lakes, the veins of Mother Earth, with water once more. Rain cools the ground when the sun has baked it hot.”
As he spoke, the grey clouds overhead slowly dissipated, giving way to blue sky and yellow sun. The rain shrank from a shower to a drizzzle, and to eventually nothing. He looked up, squinting as the sun proudly shone its light upon the earth once more. Leaves and branches dripped with rain water, sparkling diamonds in the sunlight.
“You see son, rain may be gloomy and wet, but it is also very, very important to our planet. Each raindrop may be so very small, but when raindrops come together in a cloud, they can do so many miraculous things!
“But my favorite reason of all, why I like rain so much, is simple..”
Squatting down beside his little boy, he pointed up into the sky, so that the little boy would turn to look. He knew the boy had seen what he was looking at when he heard the tiny gasp of surprise from the boy’s mouth.
“..because when you look hard enough, there are always rainbows after the rain.”