Rainy Day Memories

January 25, 2008

While my sister was complaining yesterday morning about the rain, my heart was rejoicing simply because it was raining. There’s something about rainy days that releases certain thoughts and feelings that sometimes weigh me down.

The rainfall started to form a curtain outside the window conjuring a liquid flow of memories—flashbacks of images of better, happier, younger times — which made me swell on the inside.

There is, for example, the inviting image of champorado, a sweet chocolate rice porridge. It reminded me of my mother happily boiling sticky rice and adding cocoa powder to give it a distinct brown color. Once cooked, she would serve the champorado to her five eager children, all ready with their spoon and ricebowl. As a child, I delighted in the champorado’s taste which filled my belly with goodness. Little did I know that cooking champorado was my mother’s way of saving the family’s supply of rice. This she admitted to me recently over a champorado snack.

Then, there was the little lakes which form just below our window when raindrops fall. My siblings and I would tie a string to a rubber slipper, throw the slipper to one of the little lakes and let it float. For children like us whose family had no extra budget to buy toys, a rubber slipper was good enough as a toy boat. The first sun rays after the rain would disappoint us as we watched the little lakes dry up and disappear. It meant the end of our short boating adventure. But it also gave us a reason to look forward to another rainy day.

Then, this particular “raincoat” which my parents designed with their ingenuity. This “raincoat” was proof of the cliché, necessity is the mother of invention. They had no extra money to buy umbrellas for five kids so they “invented” a raincoat. What kind of raincoat am I talking about, you might ask. It was made of a big plastic bag, one that looks like a garbage bag. Only that the garbage bag is usually black and the plastic bag my parents’ used for the raincoat they invented was clear. I would try to make a sketch of the raincoat and post the image here someday, to illustrate my parents’ ingenuity.

My siblings and I would trudge along the street leading to our school wearing our parents’ innovative raincoat and singing silly songs.

Ahh, happy rainy day memories. There were too many of them rushing in my mind, too many to write in here. I have realized only yesterday that most of them happened in my childhood days. For a moment the rain made me feel like I was a child again, back in our family home in the province, rejoicing on the first raindrops hitting the ground and rooftops.