«Singing and Dancing in the Rain»
A creative non-fiction essay by Irene Gregorio Crespo.
Dear human race,
It is me. The Rain. Your watery foundation of life, your life. I cover a great amount of land on the Earth; fallen from the sky, and gathered in the shape of lakes, seas, aquifers, icebergs, and rivers, among others. It does not matter whether I end up being fresh or salt; the truth is that I am indispensable for you. And still you keep complaining about me, especially in the cities, as if I was a nuisance for the smooth development of your busy lives. Your eyes are blind to my miracles, and your minds are closed to the rationale of my existence.
I would like to open your senses and broaden your horizons. Please, allow me to introduce myself as what I am: a natural phenomenon, based on water – seasoned with temperature and air. I have an undeniable role in the development of life on Earth, and can take place any day, anytime. I can be as unpredictable as fascinating.
Starting with the basic and common aspects: I am part of the nourishment of plants, that are themselves key to keeping the adequate level of oxygen in the air and essential to the existence of the food chain, which connects the different beings on Earth, making them all dependant on one another. Without me, this balance would be ruined. Without me, life would not exist on Earth. Isn’t that an important enough reason to value and appreciate me?
Having said so, you can imagine that, even though you humans usually connect me with autumn, I can – and have to – come in any season, either winter, spring, or even summer. However, my appearance will probably be different, depending on the time of the year and the place. Let’s say Spain. In autumn, I usually come as never-ending periods of rain, one after the other, giving no time for the ground to dry up, the puddles to disappear, or the sewage system to clear the water on time. In cities, I know, most of the people hate me. Despite my absence during summer, the news of my arrival is not welcome. I seem to be quite annoying, actually. Except for the children. They do love me. When I come, they can take out their original and beautiful umbrellas, as well as their raincoats, and rainboots, and happily jump in any puddle that I have created on the pavement. Photographers enjoy my arrival too. The clouds, where I stay until I am condensed enough to fall, provide them with beautiful pictures of sunsets, full of different textures and colours.
And when I am falling and the sun shines, our marriage produces an astonishing rainbows that cross the sky. After all, maybe it is not me; maybe it is you. Because, as the Beatles used to sing, “if the rain comes, they run and hide their heads; when the sun shines, they slip into the shades”. Therefore, it is something about the human race – or some of it specimens – that seems to be sensitive to any weather change.
But the weather does change. And you cannot do anything to avoid it. Thanks to the weather, the water on the surface of the Earth evaporates and rises to the sky, where it condensates due to the low temperature, constituting what is known as clouds. And there I am, ready to fall again; too heavy to stay up there. If I fall over very cold and/or high lands, you call me snow, or maybe hail, and I will eventually melt and turn into liquid water, drenching the land, and staying on the surface waiting to be evaporated again. Maybe I simply fall as what I am: rain.
I know I can be terrifying when my friends thunder and lightning join the party, or when I cannot stop falling from the sky flooding a whole settlement. My apologies, but I cannot help it. Please, make sure these lands get enough attention to avoid the disasters I might provoke. And try not to turn me into what I am not. For example, acid rain is not me; acid rain is the result of contaminating me with your atmospheric pollution, and it is painful to see how harmful I can be. I am essential for life, despite my outbursts, so take care of me, please.
I nourish the plants, draw the rainbows, clean the air… Can’t you feel the freshness of the air after I have fallen from the sky? The birds do, and they sing. Why can’t you all be “singing and dancing in the rain” as Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain? Why does it seem that city dwellers cannot appreciate my work as much as people who live in the countryside?
Please, reflect on what I can do – and am doing – for you and how we could collaborate to make this world better. Do not take this letter as a reprimand, but as an attempt to draw your attention to me in a positive way, as I try to see the best of you. I am just trying to help. Don’t you see it?