She had been shopping with me in Vashi mall. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.
We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the shop. We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.
Her voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in.
"Mam, let's run through the rain," she said.
"What?" I asked.
"Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.
"No,dear. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," I replied.
This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mam, let's run through the rain."
"We'll get soaked if we do," I said.
"No, we won't, Mam. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at my arm.
"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"
"Don't you remember? When you were talking to the doctor about my cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!"
All of us stopped dead silent. I swear I couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. I paused and thought for a moment about what I would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.
"Dear, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD lets us
get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," I said.
Then off we ran. Everyone stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. We held our shopping bags over our heads just in case. We got soaked. But we were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.
This was my last meeting with the cancer patient I was wanting to spend time as a part of my social work course during my stay in Mumbai.
Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories...
Sometimes in some moments of retrospection, I feel that maybe we forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday.
To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.
But I still hope that maybe we shall all take time to run through the rain....