A Close Encounter with a Rainand a Sunbeam

  • Vipen Kapur
  • India
  • Mar 07, 2015

One morning, just after it rained and the sun peeped through a hole in the clouds, I stepped out into the garden. I treated my lungs to the clean fresh air, while my eyes feasted on the bright green grass and vibrant colours of the bougainvillea and water lilies. I was soon captivated by one pristine and glittering drop of rain, which seemed to be smiling at me while it rested on a young and grateful leaf. I wondered about the mission of this raindrop - this tiny ‘piece’ of water. I thought that the best way to get the answer was to smile back and start a dialogue. But even before my smile reached its full bloom, the raindrop gave me a friendly wink and said, “Good morning!  My name is Aardy, the long form of RD, which is the short form of Raindrop.” With some hesitation, I responded, “Hello, Aardy, welcome to my garden and thank you for bringing the cruel dry spell to an end. We have been praying and waiting for your return.” Aardy responded, “In recent years we had brought too much water to your island, causing floods, so El Niño asked us to shower certain other places that had been too dry for too long.  Sorry for being late, but we have to balance things and keep everybody happy.” “Yes, Aardy,” I agreed, “You are quite right, natural resources are meant to be shared.” Wanting the dialogue to remain cordial, I added, “Aardy, you look so clean and radiant this morning,” Aardy replied, “Thank you, I did not want to descend on your garden as harmful acid rain, so I had a good ‘shower and scrub’ before dropping in…ha, ha.” I joined in her laugh and said, “Aardy, you have a great attitude and I enjoy your wit.”  “Now, let me tell you why I am radiant,” continued Aardy, “It’s because my friend, the sunbeam is with me today.” Coming in with a twinkle, the sunbeam said, “Hi there, I’m Sunny. I know that you have missed Aardy, but I’m your friend too.” “Nice to meet you, Sunny,” I replied. Then I addressed them both, “You two are so different, and yet so happy together. What is your mission here?” Together they eagerly responded, “In unison we help seeds germinate and trees grow, flowers bloom and fruits ripen. Why, your very own body is almost 90% water and it cannot function without energy or heat. Can you imagine the world without water or sunlight? Depending on the need of the season, one of us may be more active than the other but, whatever we do, we do in concert and for the general benefit of mankind and other species that share the planet.” “Tell me, Aardy,” I enquired, “Why is it that you precipitate so much over the oceans when there are water shortages on land?” Aardy said, “You may have forgotten your school lessons, but I’ll give you a few quick answers: If I do not fall sufficiently over the oceans, they will become too salty and all marine life will perish, depriving you of vital proteins. Isn’t one Dead Sea enough?” Sunny interjected, “Sometimes, I become more active in certain parts.  As you know, heat and drought can help destroy certain harmful germs. In any event, certain phenomena that you call disasters are meant to restore the ecological balance. When things get too damp, I get active and vaporise Aardy, and she floats up to help form a new cloud, which then moves to another area.” And Aardy added, “When Sunny gets over-heated, I take over and cool him down...the cycle goes on forever.” “That’s exactly right,” Sunny concurred, “And we hope you humans realise our importance.” Of course,” I replied, “Both of you are important to the world, and mankind has worshipped you both from the beginning of time.” Now, both Aardy and Sunny, like a chorus of teachers, said, “You people of the world know that you need us for your welfare and your survival. But too many people, because of ignorance, selfishness, shortsightedness and poor planning, abuse the resources gifted by God…and now you are having to pay the price.  You pollute the atmosphere with sulphur and the like, and invite acid rain; your CFCs dig big holes in the ozone layer, which then allow harmful ultra-violet rays to enter and bombard all earthlings. You have to mend your ways before it is too late.  If you chop down your rainforests, you’ll be left with dust bowls; if you fell too many trees in hilly areas, you’ll be deluged with floods and landslides. You guys and your governments and businesses need to plan and coordinate better. Build sensible dams and water catchments and distribution systems. At the same time, construct good drainage and recycling systems. There is no point in wasting water one year and then complaining of monsoon failure in the next.  You must have systems to control both flood and drought.  You humans have the technology…you only need to improve your attitudes and priorities. Don’t blame us for the greenhouse effect and global warming; you need to look inwards, at your own actions.” ‘Oh boy!’ I said to myself, ‘What a lecture early in the morning! And that too from a tiny, single droplet of rain and a little sunbeam’.  I felt guilty and embarrassed. I choked a bit and, in a solemn tone, said, “I apologise on my own behalf and that of my kind, for complaining about too much rain, too much sun or too little rain, too little sun, and promise to be more sensible and caring for our precious resources and sharing them wisely. Meanwhile, on our behalf, please implore El Niño and his consort, La-Nina, to look kindly on us.” Aardy and Sunny continued, “Remember, we are your friends. We know that there are enough decent humans on earth.  From our side, we, Aardy and Sunny, pledge to continue to work in harmony and team spirit for all kinds of creatures that deserve our patronage.” As I smiled gratefully, Aardy and Sunny said, “Look up.” And my eyes beheld the most gorgeous twin rainbows decorating the morning sky. My whole being felt blessed, as I continued to gaze adoringly at this true symbol of co-operation between Raindrops and Sunbeams…all for our benefit. My heart and mind softly chorused, ‘Thank you Aardy, thank you Sunny, for your constant support. Friends in need are friends indeed. We shall not let you down…so help us God’. u


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