Monday, April 22, 2013

First Contact

It was one of those days during summer when thunder was rolling down the distant mountains and where the humid heat of the day was making your clothes stick from sweat to your skin. The rain would be welcomed by everybody and by nature itself.
But Annette did not want the rain to hide the sunset. It was one of her pleasure since many decades. Rain or not, she would stay on her balcony, watching the slow setting of the sun behind the horizon. It was casting beautiful pink and orange shadows over the rain clouds. She could still sense the light touch of the last sun rays over her wet skin. The last ones have always been a sweet touch. A lovely caress from the finger tips. She closed her eyes and felt the touch going away. With a small panic, she quickly opened her eyes to grasp it again and she felt it one last time. One more moment of pure love was granted to her before the sun continued its voyage.
The thunder was coming closer but she did not give it a glare. It would take away the heat of that touch and it would melt. She put her hand just before the first drop of rain hit her face. She slightly moved her chair back. Just on the line where the rain was pouring on her balcony. She let her toes get a few drops as if she was playing in a pond. She looked at the rain showering the corn field and the garden. She looked at the water running between the rows of tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and fine herbs and she was happy that the water was not overflowing anywhere, gently refreshing everything and sending away the excess of water.
The night would soon takes its rights and the rain would stop in a few minutes by the looks of the clear dark blue sky next to the mountains. She lingered on her balcony another moment, verifying one more time that the garden was unharmed by the weather and she slowly got on her feet, walking on the fine line between rain and dry wind, avoiding any drops on her.
Annette smiled when she saw her granddaughter peering in the bay window at her. She was supposed to be already in bed. Annette had seen to that about an hour ago, just before she got on the balcony. But the thunder must have drawn her to the window and seek her grandmother’s comfort.
“You should be in bed little lady,” she said while opening the door.
The little one replied by a shy and lovely smile and Annette could not be angry at all. The little lady left the dark kitchen and went in the arms of her grandmother, still smiling.
“Will you make the rain stop?” The little lady asked.
“Why would I want the rain to stop? Don’t you want to pluck a nice carrot from the garden in the morning? They need water to grow and taste sweet.”
It was a special night. A night where Annette had her granddaughter only for her. A single night while her own daughter was on a holiday. The little lady played with her grandmother’s wet hair, still silent but surely forming another bright question.

“Mommy said that you can stop the rain. Can you teach me how?”
Annette stayed still for a moment, not making any special reaction and pausing long enough to observe if there was any hidden sense behind this not so childish question.
“Did mommy ever said how?”
Her granddaughter shook her head, still playing with her wet hair and avoiding looking directly to her grandmother’s eyes. The little lady knew it was a special question. One that she did not know if she could ask. Annette knew that her mother would not have answered it. It was a concept that her daughter never fully understood.
“What do you think magic is?” Annette asked to her granddaughter, bringing her to the line between rain and dryness.
The little lady shrugged but Annette waited a little, knowing her granddaughter was forming a more complete answer.
“It’s like wind but you can move it.”
“Almost. You can slightly move it. Just a bit. Just enough to feel it from your right cheek instead of your left,” she answered while gently poking her granddaughter cheek with her free hand.
“Can’t you just stop it?”
“Not really. It would not make sense to impose myself over something that is part of me. It would be like to stop breathing until someone else tells me that I could continue. That would be difficult don’t you think?”
Her little daughter acknowledged silently and put a hand quickly in the rain and got it out after a few drops touched it. She laughed at the game even if the rain bit her little hand each time. With her free hand, Annette crossed the line through the rain and got it out without haste and showed it to her granddaughter. She watched her amazement while her pretty little grey eyes were looking for a trace of water that wasn’t there. The little lady tried again with her own hand but there were still little drops on it once out.
“I’m not quick like you,” the little lady said, a bit disappointed.
“It’s not to be quick but to trust the rain will not touch you. You can’t stop the rain to fall but it doesn’t have to fall on your fingers. It can slowly go around it and still fell on the grass below.”
Annette put her hand again in the rain for a few seconds, long enough for the rain to soak it, and got it out dry and warm. It instantly provoked a large smile on her granddaughter’s face and Annette could not resist replying with her own.
“Try it like you would do as if the rain was not even there.”
Without assisting or pushing her, Annette watched closely her little lady building an image in her head and slowly put her hand in the rain. She could feel it coming from her, as she had done it the first time with her own daughter. It was new, untouched and vibrating with life from the little girl. Then it stopped after what felt about a minute and the little lady got her hand out with a single drop on the tip of her little finger. Annette smiled and knew she had unlocked a door that would change the life of her granddaughter for ever. She would either embrace it or deny it like her mother but that she could not decide it. At least, she knew that her first contact had been safe and that she would remember it each time she would doubt the existence of what was beyond her sight.
“It’s time to get to bed for real now.”
“Can’t I avoid it?”
Annette laughed while entering in the kitchen and closing the door.
“In time, you may, but for now you must learn what sleeping is before you can cheat it.”
She slowly walked in the dark kitchen, toward the room at the end, each step fully secure, while the rain took over the balcony completely.