Haibun: Yuudachi

Today at Real Toads, I am doing the prompt for Thursday. I have given different Japanese words for rain – all of them seasonal. The Japanese have at least fifty words for rain. I have chosen yuudachi – sudden evening rain. I am asking people to choose one or several and write about the rain. If writing haibun I am asking for the classic form which is non-fiction and if writing haiku, the classic form which uses a seasonal word.

Haibun: Yuudachi
It was a long hot dry summer. Plants withered, animals died. I added another birdbath to the one already in use. Every day squirrels would line the thing, sipping and vying for places to drink. Several shallow birdbaths watered bunnies and the occasional cat or dog. The koi pond was down a foot, the koi clustered at the deep end in the shadow of plants. The night after you left, I sat on the back porch listening to the cicadas doing their raspy singing. I sniffed petrichor and suddenly rain began to pour down – a loud roar pounding plants into the ground, drumming on the roofs, and washing trash down the street gutters. The koi swam to the surface of the pond opening their mouths acting as if they were eating the drops of rain. I stood holding on the porch post and getting thoroughly soaked. I whispered – yuudachi, sudden evening rain. After the heat of the day the rain was cold. I wondered if it was raining where you were.  I bowed my head and wept hot tears of sorrow.

long hot dry summer –
cicadas cease their songs –
rain mutes all sound

 

# 1 on the List

 

A co-worker has a list posted outside of her cubicle.  It is full of sayings, you know the kind.  But #1 is “Life isn’t fair, but it is still good.”   Well, actually, sometimes it isn’t but hopefully, it will be.  A few weeks ago, I read a post on another blog that broke my heart.  I am a sucker for the helpless and if the helpless is a child or an animal, my heart bleeds forever.

 There was a posting about a street dog who although sick and suffering, was tortured by “humans” because the dying dog bothered them.  Hello?  Bothered them???  My rage turned to pain and then grief and I am still grieving for that dog.  I will grieve until I lose my memory.  I have been thinking since then, that what causes us pain, what causes us to pray to God for mercy for those who only He remembers, is what makes us truly human.  See blog at:  http://globalinfo4all.wordpress.com/   (good stuff here but sometimes, it will break your heart – but always inspiring.  Check it out)

 Let me go back 15 years.  I was working for a state agency and my job was to approve and authorize hospice care.  I mainly dealt with persons who were HIV+.  I also volunteered for a local AIDS network who helped those who were disabled by the disease or dying by getting their groceries, caring for their pets, emptying their garbage, changing their diapers….holding their hands and loving them because many of them had been disowned by their families and their….dying bothered them. 

 I was contacted, off the record, by a policeman who was acquainted with me.  He told me they had hauled in a homeless, 13 year old HIV+ girl.  Her mother had died several months earlier of AIDS.  The girl’s grandmother grudgingly took them in but the girl took care of her mom – food, clothing, sick care, everything.  She had contracted HIV by being raped by her mother’s HIV+ boyfriend.  The grandmother was ashamed of them and turned her back because their illness and dying bothered her.  When the mother died, the grandmother turned the girl out on the street.

 The policeman had noticed the girl off and on and how her condition was deteriorating.  He contacted me to see if I could help.  I went to the juvenile facilities to see the girl – thin, dirty, tired, frightened, covered with sores and obviously picked at/abused by passersby who were bothered by her dying.  I arranged for her to be taken to a children’s hospice.  I then stayed with her until they came to get her.  I washed her face and hands, combed her hair, hugged her.  She melted into my arms and then she asked,  “am I going to die?”.  I pulled her closer and said, “Yes, you are going to die.  But you will be taken care of.  You will be clean and treated kindly and loved.  And when you die, you will be mourned and you will be missed.”  Three weeks late, she died at the hospice. 

 So, life was not good for the dog or the girl.  In some ways, though, it did get better although they went through hell to get to something better.  The dog died and was given a decent burial by a group that cared for the sick, smelly, scabby animal and tried to do the right thing for it.  Anna died but she was loved. 

 To this day, I mourn and grieve for her.  She has been added to that special place in my heart for those whom everyone except God has forgotten.  She lives there with the dog and other animals and people who shouldn’t have been treated as they were – some of whom died alone.

 So what makes us human?  What adds greatness to our humanity?  That room in our heart for those mourned by maybe, only us.

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