Saving a Tempest
July 7, 2021 / Shreya Rajhang
Summer tempest takes flight, cool waters blur my sight love blooms to a new height.
All around me, the city groans low in agony, a mighty but weary beast. Its concrete forests bear heavily on its slippery pavements. I feel the warmth sweltering throughout, pushing down around myself as I breathe in the fumes of desperation and frustration. The city yearns for rejuvenation, its people for purpose, and I for life.
The thicket of heat hunts down and under. In and around. Over and out. The roads are studded with cars that glisten in the sun, their agitated owners fretting inside. The crosswalk hums and buzzes with the flitting of busy pedestrians hurrying to cool off from the suffocating air. Apartment buildings shut out the invasive, humid air, shielding its residents from the stifling weather of this summer day.
I stand on the pavement lazily, observing the haste of life towards some abstract end that looms just over the horizon. The city is colored in an ochre-gray scheme, the dust blanketing the barren city in a dry cover. Time seems to run away from me, standing under one of the rare trees in the stretch of pavement. It ebbs and flows from my being into a sky that seems too blue, too bright, too perfect. Laughing at me. Mocking me.
As the fast-paced world continues on its undefined journey, the clouds suddenly darken and roar, gathering to signal the arrival of a tempest. This is what I’ve been waiting for — a moment of peace in a parched paradise.
The first drops of rain tentatively hit the ground. The city sizzles as the cool water hits its urgent inhabitants. My palm automatically reaches out to catch a runaway drop, to feel moisture — life — return to me.
Falling drizzle. Floating sense. I feel, more than watch, the downpour begin, surrounding the city and me in a curtain of motion. It’s as if I’m caged in the most beautiful painting; muted tones of blue and green color the city. Wherever the rain hits, there’s a burst of light. An attractive shot of color.
I smell the earthy, robust dirt that flattens beneath my feet, hear the patter of the shower, and taste the rejuvenating water falling without worry on my upturned face. I sense the buildings surrounding me heave a sigh of relief as their inhabitants race outside to join me in savoring the monsoon.
I abandon the safety of shade from the sun, which has all but disappeared now behind the playful clouds. As the cool water hits my skin, there’s a brief sensation of goosebumps before all my senses surrender to the summer tempest. It’s like a movie in slow motion, where nothing matters but the object of my affection: the rain.
all that’s left
is the vast feeling
I am euphoric, I can fly, and I will let go of all my tethers to succumb to the butterflies in my stomach that promise me I have wings. I want to burst into song, like a little bird that travels the world and whispers its wonders to the flowers and trees. I am just a wisp of air, fainting and falling, tumbling in the rain, the Earth, my Mistress, my life too short. Will this time never end? Please, will this time never end. This time will never end. This is exactly what love feels like.
I will take this moment with me to the ends of the Earth, and there, I will answer to whoever gave me my soul. I won’t lose this moment even when I can no longer taste the monsoon or smell the rust forming on the worn-down buildings. I will become the rain. This piece of myself that I cherish will be the only thing left of me. The rain will be the only reminder that I was once blessed with being able to love something, anything.
And I chose to love the rain. ■
By: Shreya Rajhang
Layout by: Kelly Kim
Photographer: Paige Miller
Stylists: Zaha Khawaja
HMUA: Adrianne Garza
Models: Samantha Maggart & Kalee Sue Gore