‘When it rains hard the entire back garden of the school becomes a huge puddle!’ a little girl said with much excitement. Her father asked if all the girls rush in and splash around this ‘huge puddle’, shoes and all. She said that they didn’t but they would love to and sometimes, after school, they would!
Sloshing around puddles when the rain has ceased is a lovely thing to do. And it’s not just little girls who talk about it. When it rains during ‘Big Matches’ and play is called off for the day or the match abandoned, the ground staff quickly move in with heavy waterproof sheets. They cover the square area in the middle of the ground. A pool of sorts is immediately created. Schoolboys and old boys (both young and old) run to the middle and dive in, sliding across the sheets. They don’t care about getting wet – well, they don’t care if their clothes get wet either!
Yes, there’s a lot to be said for puddles if you have nothing else to do and don’t have to be neat and trim and dry!
But it’s not only about splashing around and screaming with your friends without worrying what your mother and father might say. You’ll know if you are a bit observant about your surroundings on rainy days.
Suppose the rain ceased. Suppose you are walking along a street. Check the edge of the pavement. You are bound to see water, either collected against the edge of a set of pavement stones or rushing along (if it has been raining particularly hard). But it’s not the water that is most interesting. It is the leaves that float on the water.
In our tropical island, when it rains it rains pretty hard. And rain is typically accompanied by harsh winds. Check the roads after a shower. You’ll see that branches have fallen on the road. There’ll be more leaves than usual. Some of them gather along the sides of the road. If you stop and watch you’ll see that they are different types of leaves. You will see that they move either due to the movement of the water or if the water has collected and is not moving, due to the movement of the wind.
There’s only so much joy you can take from the edge of a pavement. But keep the memory of leaves on water and when you get home or find a puddle you can toss in as many different kinds of leaves as you want. Small leaves and big ones, light green leaves and dark green leaves. You can make it more interesting by adding in the petals of different kinds of flowers.
It’s a bit like making a fake meal with leaves, petals, stems and such. The difference is that water doesn’t stay still. If your puddle is large enough and if there’s a lot of water, however neat your leaf-petal arrangement, it just won’t remain the way you want it to. The wind will persuade some petals and leaves to move around and ‘disarrange’ the whole thing. But this might make you think of new patterns. These too could be disarranged. That’s how it is. We plan but our plans don’t work out the way we want them to. But the outcome can still be beautiful. Like leaves and petals on a large puddle on a rainy day.