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Raindrops On Roses

“You can’t have a rainbow without a little bit of rain.”

Author Unknown

 

 

On Tuesday morning this past week, at exactly 7:32 a.m., I pulled into the parking lot of my son’s elementary school. We found a parking spot and proceeded to unload the contents of our car: a suitcase, a sleeping bag and a backpack. In the crisp morning air, we joined other 4th grade students and their parents bringing similar contents to a van parked in front of the school. We were all there to drop our children off for outdoor school–back in my day simply called, “camp”–and I don’t know about the other children present, but this was my son’s first time away from home without me. We’ll just skip the part where I shed more than a few tears before he and I even left the house…

Rushing to get Julian to school that morning, I had a strong flashback to the first time I’d taken my son to a day camp at the very same location where he’d be doing his outdoor school. It was six years ago, he was four-years-old at the time, and our family was drowning in a dark place, having just lost three children within less than a year’s time. Camps at this particular location go on rain or shine, and, believe me when I say that, on that day? Six years ago? There was absolutely no shine in site, not in my heart, and not in the sky. And as I drove him to camp that day, it was clear that we were experiencing the type of rain that soaks through rain coats. 

From July 20, 2012…

“Okay, babe,” I said to the hooded bundle in the backseat once we arrived at Julian’s camp. “I’ll come around and open the door for you, then we’ll run down the trails as fast as we can until we make it to the Welcome Center where it will be warm and dry. Alright?”

There was no response from the backseat. Just the blinking of big blue eyes peeking out at me from the opening of a black hood.

Ignoring my son’s lack of enthusiasm, I braced myself and pushed out into the rain, running to the other side of the car to yank Julian’s car door open. When he didn’t move–“Come on! Mama’s getting wet!”–I finally reached in to pull him out.

Rushing him to the trails that led to his camp, I was disappointed when the tall trees of the wooded area failed to provide the shelter from the rain that I’d anticipated. My disappointment quickly turned to irritation, however, when Julian, who normally runs up ahead of me on any path that we walk, lagged behind, moving slower than a snail.

“Pick up the pace, please! We’ve got a long way to walk yet!”

And, so it went. I prodded and begged Julian to speed things up, while he continued to walk slower and slower, eventually tiptoeing around puddles as though they were made of quicksand. Halfway there, he stopped completely, only to stare up at the big drops of rain falling on his face.

“Julian!” I hollered. “What are you doing?”

His eyes dropped to my face, paused there, then quickly shot back up to the sky. And like a thick blanket, I felt an intense weight come over me.

“Did you feel that?” I whispered, more to myself than to him. “Did you feel the heaviness that just came down from the sky?”

Sensing my angel babies somewhere in the storm, I closed my eyes and let their presence surround me, absorbing the calm hush that came with it. How long did I stand there, the raindrops mixing in with my tears?

When I finally opened my eyes again, I found that my son, Julian, hadn’t moved. Surrendering, I walked over to his side, gently wiped the raindrops off his face, and then took his hand in mine. Slowly, without speaking, we moved forward to the promise of a covered shelter ahead.

Because, what was the hurry? We were already wet.

Photos on Visualhunt.com.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

 

awakeningwildflower Written by:

11 Comments

  1. June 2, 2018
    Reply

    So special but I don’t understand why Julian didn’t want to get out of the rain. I’m sure it was very refreshing for both of you and for me too

    • awakeningwildflower
      June 2, 2018
      Reply

      It was a COMPLETE downpour…and the photo I’ve attached isn’t us. We had no umbrellas, just raincoats with hoods. Sometimes rain isn’t all that refreshing 🙂

  2. Dawn
    June 2, 2018
    Reply

    So…….did he end up having a good time??

    • awakeningwildflower
      June 2, 2018
      Reply

      An “okay” time…I think we were both in a different place that day.

  3. June 2, 2018
    Reply

    As Julian’s father, I can say that Julian has always had this uncanny ability to offer his parents that calm and grounding we’ve often needed during these “storms” in life. I truly believe he has some sort of 6th sense from even before he could speak. I may have a biased opinion ;), but he is wondrous boy. I feel truly blessed.

  4. June 3, 2018
    Reply

    You have an amazing way with words! I was spellbound by your story. I was drawn in to it by the “raindrops on roses,” which I assume came from that song Juli Andrews sang in “Sound of Music.”

    I liked that quote at the beginning, too, about “You can’t have a rainbow without a little bit of rain,” or something like that. It spoke to my heart. Rain is often a symbol of difficult times, and rainbows are symbolic of God’s promises. I think we appreciate the blessings or the good times more when we have had some not so good times along the way. They stand out to us more, like a rainbow after a rain storm, and we are less likely to take them for granted.

    • awakeningwildflower
      June 4, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks Sue. I appreciate your comments. I think it’s true…we do appreciate the blessings we receive much more after times of trouble or turmoil. I have to go into each day believing that all things happen for a reason, even if that reason is merely to make me a stronger, better person. Many blessings to you…

      • June 4, 2018

        Blessings to you, as well.

  5. June 5, 2018
    Reply

    Amy, I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award because of your courage, because you are a survivor, and because you rose above your circumstances to be a strong woman who spreads hope and encouragement to others. If you decide to accept the award, you can read what to do here: https://runwithit.blog/2018/06/04/sunshine-blogger-award/.

    • awakeningwildflower
      June 5, 2018
      Reply

      Thank you Sue! What kind words! I’m honored. I did do the Sunshine Blogger Award a few months back, but will give it a try again if time permits 🙂

      • June 5, 2018

        You are welcome and thank you.

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