I was supposed to meet Voices columnist Batya Medad (Voices of Shiloh) last week for lunch and to tape her latest video column. Other things came up suddenly, and I asked for a Rain Check. We rescheduled for today. And guess what? As soon as we met, it started to rain.
Snug in Nina's Restaurant of Ramat Eshkol, we chatted as we ate. Then we went out to tape a segment of Batya's video column. The subject, of course - the rain.
We all know that Israel needs the rain, and we are very grateful for every drop. But for more than a decade, I have felt a special connection to the stormy weather. When it rains, in addition to the pattering and plops, I hear the laughter of a little boy. Over the years, it has become very faint, but it is there all the same. I can hear it, and if I close my eyes, I can envision the scene that I will remember my entire life, IY"H.
It was 1999, the first of many drought years to come. Rain hit a new low - 30% of the previous annual levels. My son Mati was nine years old. Everyone was worried about the lack of water, even nine year olds. Mati turned to me one day and said, "Ema, do you know why Hashem has withheld the rain?" I said, no, I honestly didn't know what we had done to deserve this drought. He said, "It's because we don't appreciate the rain." Wise words from my little boy.
The dry winter persisted. And then one day, it actually rained. Not a giant storm, but waters from the Heavens just the same. I was driving home smiling, as my windshield wipers swished the raindrops to the side. When I pulled up to my house, I saw my son Mati outside. He was sliding from one end of the porch to the other, back and forth, without a jacket or umbrella. Just sliding back and forth. I went running upstairs, "MATI!!!! What are you doing?"
He threw his head and hands up in delight and called out as loud as he could, "I'M APPRECIATING THE RAIN!!"
We have had many years of drought since then. Israel's water resources are threatened as never before. Why? I believe that my little boy was correct. Nationally, we haven't shown our appreciation of the rain. Personally, I don't know about you, but every time I see even a single raindrop on my windshield, I call out in my heart, "I'm appreciating the rain."
Thank you, Hashem, for today's rain. Please give us an encore.
Batya Medad's "Rain Check" video column can be seen right here:http://voices-magazine.com/voices-videos.php?id=70 .