Flashback to the year 2005:
I was grounded a lot that year. I remember feeling so isolated. I had dial-up internet access on a Windows 95 desktop, and miles of forest and fields between my childhood home and town, and no cell phone. I felt claustrophobic.
I’m sixteen, and I’m sitting alone on my bed. My stare is empty. My brow is furrowed.
I hear the screen door slam shut, an engine start, and tires moving down the gravel driveway. My mom ran to the store, and I was alone.
I cross the room to look out the window, watching as the green car disappears from sight through the trees. The sky is darkening, though it’s mid-day. I want to go outside. I feel like I can breathe outside.
I make my way downstairs and out the front door. Bare feet on the grass. I take a deep breath, and as I exhale, so do the clouds. It starts to rain.
I yell. I scream with all of my might because I am so frustrated with the rain. I am so frustrated with my life. But the yell feels good, like a release, and suddenly, the rain feels good too. Cleansing. I feel my hope rise, my heart swell, and I begin to dance. I leap and turn and jump and prance through the yard, through the trees until I am soaked and utterly exhausted.
Inside, I change out of my wet clothes, looking into the mirror. My face is flushed with color, my eyes are bright, and for the first time in a long time, the furrow between my eyebrows has dissipated.
“Did you take a shower?” My mom asks, returning from the store.
“Yeah.” I reply, not yet ready to share the experience. A cleansing release brought on by the rain.