Yes, we loved the rain when we were children. Even if we sang "Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day!"Or even if the late Karen Carpenter also sang "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down." (Ha ha ha. For us priests, we love Mondays!) Nowadays, rains are dreaded. They are unusually strong and heavy. In fact, too heavy now for the designs houses now have. If one is going to construct a house or any building today, rain should be a very big consideration. Otherwise, the tenants would just find themselves either with leaks or runoffs or excess water due to the inability of drainages in coping with the great surge of rain water. Today, when it rains, traffic easily becomes heavy. Roads are quickly flooded. Everyone is cautioned not to be exposed to rains because of its acidity that harms the skin. While rains continue to be a source of water for irrigation, drinking, and cleaning activities, its quality and effects had drastically changed.
When we were children, the first rains of the month of May is anticipated. I have not really asked the reason why but I think it has something to do with "health". It is good for the body, at least for the skin. We would immediately go to our mother and ask permission to bathe under the rain. Because we still have to wear our shirts and shorts, we would bathe with nothing on! We would run around outside our house and periodically take turns in showering under the down spout. If a temporary pool appears, we would wade in it, or if our enthusiasm is just too much, we would swim in it. We would be like carabaos loving the rare chance of frolicking in water. We would go home not cleaner, due to the mud from playing in the pool of water, but very happy.
When we were children, we would always want to have the opportunity to bathe under it. My mother would always assess if it is safe. Lightning and thunderstorms might be present. But for us, we just loved the rain, lightnings and thunderstorms included. We would be very sad if we were not allowed and we would jealously look out from our windows at the children who were given that opportunity. We would call out to them and ask them if it feels good! Then we would participate in what they are doing from the window as if we are with them!
Once the rain stopped, we would immediately go out and see what the rain had done to our surroundings. Were there trees and plants that were destroyed? Were there flooded areas where we can wade? Were houses also affected? Were tributaries and small canals bigger or more active due to the rain water? Was the ground topography changed? And many more. As children, we were aware of all of these changes. We knew the effects of rain and flood.
We had a small canal in front of our house. After the rain, it will have more water and the flow is faster. We use to make small boats, made of either of paper, wood, leaf, or any material, and make them race against each other. We would be very happy watching the boats speed to the designated finish line. We would spend ours doing it and at times many of us would produce many different kinds of boats in a day!
After the rain, opportunities to hunt for play insects (yes, we hunt them!) like beetles and spiders are on. We would equip ourselves with empty match boxes (at times my mother would just see the matches scattered and the match box gone!) filled with cotton for the spiders. Then we will play games with them.
Clay abounds after the rain. The effect of water ton hard clay softens them. So, we would gather as much clay as we want and create figures out of them. The game we would play will depend on the figures we have created e.g. animals, war soldiers and arms, carpentry tools etc. Our clay may not be as clean, sticky, aromatic, and colorful as now, but we did enjoy forming them.
Lastly, I remember, at one time, we made "tsakads" (wooden stilts) in order to wade through the flood waters. Though we still make and enjoy them even in sunny or flood less days, it was more fun, thrilling and challenging with water. We would challenge everyone to cross a certain distance and even add some difficulties to it after everyone had crossed. Some would fall but it was accepted as part of the game. Definitely, everyone enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, some if not all of these are not anymore being done. Passe? Old? Crude? Maybe. But I believe, they are still sources of lessons in life like; determination, creativity, acceptance of failure, magnanimity in victory, development of skills, patience, teamwork, joy, competition, etc. The values gained are countless! I am sure, many of those values are still effective and present in the characters of those who lived by them! I am one of them and I am proud of it!
P.S. The rainbow is a welcome sight after the rains. Not only because its colors of ROYGVIB teaches us about colors but more importantly, it reminds us of the promise of God that as long as we see the rainbow, He will not repeat what was done to the people during the time of Noah!