when the rain comes

I walked up to the counter, pulling up my slightly loose jeans that came from stressing out over tests and my future. I grabbed the styrofoam cup and slowly turned back to my table; it was a new spot for me. I usually go into one of the deep corners of the bookstore, hoping that the seclusion will mean I get more work done.

But today, for some reason, I grabbed the round table that was nearest the stairs and in the wide open spaces of the oddly architectured room.

Suddenly, the rain began beating down. Like rocks thrust again a tin farmhouse, the water came. As if God opened up the floodgates and declared, "Make them listen."

We, all of us in the bookstore, got quiet. Conversations about a horrible boss, a new love interest or an upcoming exam was put to a halt; we all just sat there. Listening to the rain.

Like school children who get silent and then burst out into "Ooohs" at our classmate who was just called to the principle, we went from dead silence to gasps of awe at the down pour.

And then, almost as quickly as it came, it stopped and we all went back to our conversations about our bosses and lovers and exams.

It was over. That moment, as short as it was, of connection was gone.

In that moment it's not seen as odd to look around at the face of a stranger and give a knowing glance or even tell a story about a time they had seen worse weather than what we were hearing now.

It's acceptable to comment on the rain to the person sitting beside you, of whom you didn't even notice before you looked up out of your book to listen intently to this free falling of water.

It's almost like we're all family and we're open to speak freely when the rain comes. But then, when it leaves, we go back to the confines of our own lives, our own problems and our own opinions.

And so now, we are all sitting in this bookstore, forever strangers.

Waiting, praying, for the rain to come.

image: source