Sunday, February 24, 2008

Why the Rain Falls

Good afternoon.

Speaking to Miss Mirah on the phone this afternoon, realizing that it's nearing the end of February (already?), I recall how quickly time is passing now that I'm old. This year of study here is two-thirds over, I can almost taste my MA and I'm so obsessed with teaching that I made my parents drive by my school last night, just because we were in the neighborhood and I miss it. Vacation has become a time to be quiet, alone and reflect and not a time to go crazy, as it has often been before. While I would love every vaca to involve travel, I get tired sometimes and just want to be home, just want to reconnect with those I love and have lost touch with. Just want to connect with Ntozake Shange's plays. I have no idea where home will be next fall, as it depends on where work will find me, but as per usual, I'll cast the nets wide and land feet first.

I'm teaching a short-short story by Zora Neale Hurston tomorrow and wrote a short myth explaining rainfall (in response to her "Why the Waves Have Whitecaps"). Mine is not the most compelling story, but I thought I'd share, I'm going to use it as a model for my students writing their own myths to explain a natural phenomenon.

Happy Sunday. I hope you are well-rested and well-loved. I keep coming back to how blessed I am.


"Why The Rain Falls"

First, there were only crystal clear cobalt blue skies all over the world, and each person, bird, mammal and fish was happy. Everyone awoke early in the morning with the sun, just to admire its rising. Every went outside at noon just to say how glorious the day became. But after years of gorgeous weather, Ms. Porcupine was getting bored of the beauty. She craved some excitement in her life. So she gathered all of her friends up in the forest and decided to have a bonfire.

Now, Mr. Sea heard all about the bonfire, it was the only event that people were talking about for days. But he was tired from a long day of work, and didn't want to travel all the way to the forest, so stayed home. It was a splendid party, and he could hear everyone laughing and dancing from miles away. He didn't appreciate all the noise, so he pulled his waves over his ears and tried to go to sleep.

The next day, everyone returned to the sea to tell stories from the bonfire. "It was the most fun we've had in all of our lives!," exclaimed Mrs. Dolphin, and the all the jellyfish agreed. Mr. Sea felt sorry for himself and decided that he wanted to be alone. He curled up in one corner of the Earth and told the fish that he didn't want to be bothered.

A few days later, when he began to hear the creatures talking about the next bonfire in the forest, he was still upset and didn't feel welcome. No one had invited him afterall. So he stayed home. At the last minute, however, he decided to surprise everyone and go. He went all the way up the beach and stood quietly at the edge of the forest, waiting for the right moment to burst out and show himself.

But the sea how much fun everyone was having dancing and singing around the fire that he wanted to join in too. He got so excited that he jumped up into the air and ended up spraying everyone with water. The fire went out, and at first everyone stopped, but Ms. Porcupine, always the optimist, said "Hey everyone, let's try to dodge Mr. Sea's drops as they hit the ground," and they all did, squealing and laughing and dancing in the raining seawater.

It became a tradition -- every time there was a fire in the forest, it would soon be followed by rain. Pretty soon, no one even realized the connection anymore, because it was no longer sunny everyday. And that is why the rain falls.

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