It was a long uncomfortable day. It was oddly hot, feeling like a whopping 34 degrees Celsius thanks to humidity, and I just kept sweating. To make matters worse, I was stressing about a physics test I wasn’t prepared for and that was making my stomach hate me. Hot, nauseous–not a lot of fun.
I had horseback riding in the evening though, which was good. We rode outside and as the lesson progressed, we just watched the dark grey clouds roll in. The rain held off till after the lesson, when I took my sweaty horse into the barnyard to wash him off. Like a true summer storm, it was calm one moment, and then a torrential downpour the next. It felt nice, the rain cooling me down, and it helped clean my horse too. Just Mother Nature lending a helping hand, I suppose.
It was quite soothing, actually, driving home in the rain with the rhythmic windshield wipers going back and forth, rain trickling down the window glass, and the radio cranked. When I got into the driveway, I sat in the car waiting for the rain to ease a bit, and took a moment to just be there.
I felt safe in the car where the rain couldn’t get me (bad rain, bad!), lulled by its droning patter on the roof. I was in a cocoon, untouched as the humid, sticky world around me finally burst and let out its relieved tears. But even as I sat there safe, the key out of the ignition and a cozy quiet filling the car, I had this impulsive urge to turn the car back on just so I could use the wipers to clear the windshield. I wanted to see clearly, not squint through the blurry tracks the falling rain made.
And at that moment, I realized the world was indulging me in a little pathetic fallacy.
Pathetic fallacy is the literary term that refers to a writer’s use of weather to mirror the emotions and events of the story, such as using sunshine for happy scenes or rain for funerals. The storm that poured on my windshield was my own personal pathetic fallacy, expressing in one deluge all the feelings I’d had throughout the day.
I’d felt hot and sticky right from the start, ill with my stress and worry that I was going to bomb my test. It was suffocating, obsessing over it until I actually got to the point of being able to write it. And after that point, there was the downpour, when I could finally let go of the stress even though the test didn’t go that well and I really just wanted to cry.
But as I let my stress pour out, let it fall all around me while my soul crouched in its protective cocoon, I wished that I could use my windshield wipers to wipe clear my vision, to see that my day hadn’t been so bad, to see that the test wasn’t so awful and that my stress would ease soon enough because hey–it’s almost summer! As much as the rain was soothing me, it was distorting my vision and making things seem so much greyer, so much more uncertain.
I still don’t feel particularly well, nor have I let go of all my stress, but the rain helped me understand. My adventure is reaching a difficult point, one that is clouding my sight, confusing me, disheartening me. But it’s only rain.
And it’s easily wiped away.
How’s the weather looking?
May you always have a handy pair of windshield wipers, whether for your car or for your eyes.