When I was little the children of our neighborhood played on the streets. There were certain things that we were all familiar with. This applied to things as well as people. Among other things, there was the man who speaks only when it rains. We called him that because - as the name suggests - the man only spoke when it rained. Our exchange of words was limited to a simple greeting in passing but when it wasn't raining he just nodded in a friendly manner or smiled narrowly. Only when it rained did he use his voice to greet us. We assumed he would be happier in the rain. More himself.
Today, when I hear a grown-up complain about the weather as soon as dryness and sun disappear, I have to smile. They are like cacti. The man who speaks only when it rains is like a tulip. Tulips are not my favorite flowers but they embody joie de vivre. A quality I appreciate very much in people.
The older we got, the less often we saw the man. I forgot how wonderful tulips smell, started packing umbrellas when I left the house in autumn.
And then I got my heart broken. I longed for rain, felt safe in it. But when my wish was granted and it began to rain, a smile formed on my face. I stretched my chin towards the sky and spun around myself like a little child. Perhaps the man who speaks only when it rains also had his heart broken. Maybe he was not a tulip, but a carnation. And carnations are my favorite flowers.
© Sophie Haller 2022-06-14