Raindrops to Rainbows

Delta Winds cover 1997Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Raindrops to Rainbows

Cathy Murtha

A rainy day can be turned into an opportunity for socializing or sharing quiet moments. Wonderful phenomena occur when the sun snuggles in the gray softness of the clouds, and the streets are dotted with puddles.

When swishes of spray fan over the sidewalk and gutters bubble merrily, people seek the comfort of small cafes and restaurants. A comfortable solace settles over a weary soul when one slides into the welcoming refuge of a corner booth at the local coffee shop. Windows shimmering with rain give a prismatic view of the hustle and bustle of pedestrians pushing against the wind. A smile is evoked by an umbrella succumbing to the insistence of the wind and upturning itself. A frustrated neighbor throws the useless article in the nearest trash bin and rushes into the little shop with an errant gust of wind. Remarks on the weather are shared, and smiles exchanged between fellow refugees. Conversations turn to storms of the past and comparisons are made; strangers reminisce of the great storms that make the current display of nature pale in comparison. Anecdotes are shared among strangers over steaming cups of coffee. The warmth of the room mingles with the animated conversation to create an atmosphere of geniality and kinship.

School children alighting from school busses dance happily among the puddles, giggling uproariously when a playmate is splattered. The more genteel of the crowd step gingerly around the muddy pools and sniff in disgust at the outrageous display of childish behavior. Secret smiles of delight are shared when one of the more mischievous youngsters stomps his foot, spraying sticky mud over a once-white muslin skirt. Tiny tongues dart out to catch raindrops, and hand-crafted note paper boats emerge from knapsacks to bob merrily down the gutter trough. Promises are made to meet again when the sun reappears as the cheerful crowd disperses, leaving the street quiet and abandoned once again.

The neighborhood homes are invaded by wet, bedraggled little creatures who shed their coats and settle happily into overstuffed chairs to watch the storm swirl about through the picture windows of their living rooms. A little brother plops a storybook in an older sister's lap and asks plaintively to be read to; the young lady, who may be too busy on most days to answer the pleas of the toddler, will submit and cuddle the little boy on her lap. The soothing tones of the girl's voice coax the little one into a gentle slumber; her hand slips through his tousled curls bringing thoughts of delicate strands of silk to her mind. A moment of discovery overtakes her. The tiny hands and perfect shape of his dimpled chin are explored with fervent touches of her fingertips. The warmth of love floods her heart, and she makes a resolution to share more moments with the little boy. She cuddles the toddler and joins him in the gentle dreamless sleep of childhood.

Parents return from work to find their youngsters cuddled together watching cartoons or coloring at the kitchen table. Cartoons and color crayons are forgotten in an instant as tiny bodies thrust themselves into the welcoming arms of loving parents. The fresh scent of rain and heady aroma of cedar and pine mix with the scent of perfumes and colognes as the youngsters bury their faces into damp overcoats. It is on the most miserable of days that the most wonderful discoveries occur.

The sun will push the clouds aside and life will continue, but it has been changed forever by the events that occur behind tear-streaked windows. The discoveries made and friendships formed in quiet moments are the rainbows brought forth by raindrops.