As I drove home from visiting a ninety-year old in a Rest Home across the other side of town, the heavens opened.
My windscreen wipers were going at top speed, but still I could hardly see. Some cars stopped.
It was a relief to get home safely, but soon I was out in the rain again, clearing blocked drains down the driveway.
As bucket-loads fell from the sky, I remembered how familiar this was in my childhood. I grew up in Taranaki, under a mountain that unleashed abundant rain throughout the year. In winter we would huddle under the bed-clothes, not wanting to get up, while the rain thrummed on the tin roof. In the weekends we could stay there, listening to the children’s request session on our little crystal set radios with headphones.
Today was one of those days when I was tempted to stay in bed, as it was wet and cold outside from the start. But I had a visit to make. When I arrived, the old person was well and truly tucked up in bed. She had had enough of life today. What could I say and do, but hold her hand, and say that I knew how that felt. Some days are like that. If I recognise such a day, I’ve learned to cross it off and start again the next morning.
After the storm had passed, the sun came out suddenly, with brilliance. Every rain drop became a jewel,
glittering exquisitely. The grey skies had lifted, and in their place
was abundant, clear, open blue. Down from the balcony above rivulets of water still flowed. They were silver and shining in the sun, but eluded my attempts to catch them on camera.
Never mind. Today reminded me how the gloomiest of times can pass. Even when clouds block our vision and obscure all hope, the sun is never far away. I was glad I made my visit. Something lit up in both of us as I sat by the bedside of this dear one.