It was a day I will remember forever.

I was ruminating on the beauty Nature had entrusted me to sustain and enjoy. I have been a witness to the myriad beings grow, evolve and disappear. I have watched weather change. I have seen the pleasant and the undesirable events that are part of my existence. I have watched the Universe unravel itself and I, Earth, look at other planets and feel blessed to be able to sustain life amongst the millions.

Life of the beings that live with me passes quickly. It hardly lasts compared to my own age. Yet some incidents catch my attention and make me feel my existence is worthwhile. This day was to be one such.

Hilsy was ready. She was full of curiosity and energy to seek answers. Life’s wonders would open up. In the small span she would enjoy, she wanted to rake in the most. She looked forward to someone who could help her in this.

Blitz was prepared too. The days of summer had ended, the Sun had done his job uninterrupted and it was time for the rains to take over. Blitz was bubbly with enthusiasm. He saw the multitude around and below him and was amazed at the largeness. He sought one whom he could call his own.

The lives of a Hibiscus flower and a rain cloud span about a day. It’s an unusual relationship which I could perceive was developing. Hilsy’s strong transmissions for a friend who could help her learn, Blitz’s keen sight looking for one he could shower his full might upon – Yes, I sensed these.

It was inevitable and I observed their first interaction with great curiosity. Hilsy noticed that Blitz and other clouds like him could see the entire garden and much more. Biltz was all-knowing from where she stood – on a stalk on her bush. If only Blitz would tell her all he could see. She called out.

Blitz realized here was one who was different – like himself, unconventional, bold, ready to explore. None from the ground ever called to a rain cloud. Flowers were afraid of dark clouds like himself as they could wreak havoc if they let themselves precipitate too soon, an occurrence common to their nature. Blitz saw in Hilsy the boldness he was looking for.

“What does this Earth look like?” she asked.

“Round, vast, dotted with beings like yourself and others which move,” he said.

“Move?” she asked and as if in answer, she sensed a goat nibbling at a bush nearby.

“Yes,” he said, “like that and many more. I can see beings walk on two legs, crawl on their bodies, wriggle with a thousand. It’s amazing.”

“I wish I could see from there.”

“I will keep telling. The secret down below is to be strong.”

“I am.”

“Hardly, if that creature you just sensed bites you, you would be done for.”

She pondered. “I am what I am but I know I am unlike others. I want to see existence for what it is.”

“None of my kind speaks to beings down below. I will tell you and I will help you grow strong,” he responded.

“Is it possible? To be different, to live longer, to learn?”

“When we rain, we create life. I can see little beings emerge far away where another cloud is pouring out.”

“You can watch life forming,” she sighed. She would do anything to witness this wonder.

I see this miracle every day and Hilsy reminded me of this marvel which I sometimes tend to get used to.

“When we come down to the land and live our lives out as rain, life of several beings starts, grows or strengthens. Plants like you absorb our water, they grow stronger, they live because we die.” Blitz knew his existence was with a purpose and he was longing to help Hilsy with his rain waters.

Ignorance plays spoil-sport to unconventional enthusiasm!

I wish sometimes that these creations which live with me would last as long as I do so they would know all I know. Maybe my desire has rubbed off on the best of them, the ones who dare to be different. Such ones stand apart from others in their enthusiasm to learn.

“I will pour my rain on you to make you strong,” Blitz thundered with enthusiasm. The roar sent shivers to many who lived their normal existence. But Hilsy was not normal. She was brave and thirsty – what a metaphor! She welcomed his downpour.

Blitz let his strength down. I see everything and I could see him straining to give his fullest to Hilsy.

Hilsy put up her bravest, strongest demeanour. She believed she would grow strong and learn.

But Nature has made things the way they are and let a part of herself reside in all. One has to flow with her beauty to go beyond. Those who spend time to mingle themselves with her, recognize the ways to use her against herself and stand out.

But again, Ignorance plays spoil-sport to unconventional enthusiasm.

Fragile as she was, a mere over-zealous, curious, ignorant Hibiscus flower, Hilsy could not stand the strength of Blitz’s well-intended, powerful, devastating downpour driven by his ignorance. She was fortunate to be saved by the branch above her.

Try as she might, she could not listen anymore to Blitz and bent low to save herself. She felt defeated.

Blitz was furious. This imprudent flower had called to him but was unwilling to take his strength into herself. He had reduced his own existence to help her learn and be strong. He had been let down.

He slowed down and finally stopped. I could sense his feelings loud and clear. He felt his life-giving water wasn’t meant for such ungrateful weaklings. He allowed the wind to drift him away.

She gathered her strength but was too weak to let an apology be heard.

I was heart-broken for both. My children had gone beyond themselves without the right understanding. Yet, it is not my role to interfere. I am a spectator and must bear the merry and the misery of my beings in silence.

The day had but reached its peak and Nature had yet not shown her wondrous self to these two lost beings.

The sun shone brightly. The wind blew away the clouds. The rain drops dried and soon, Hilsy felt strength seeping into her. She couldn’t believe she would be her strong self again. But when one gives up oneself to allow Nature rule, magic happens. By the time the sun was to start its downward journey, Hilsy was strong.

Blitz didn’t know either the magic that comes when Nature takes upon herself the care of a sincere one. He grew and then he realized he was growing. He allowed it and his lost power was back.

Both were wiser.

She knew now what her fragile life was about. There were others to learn from – the sun, the wind, the garden, the distant beings. She would end up in my bosom as dried petals and seeds and go on to create new life of petite beauty.

He knew now what his power was about. He let himself rain out gently, let parched beings soak his caressing shower, let young ones pirouette with joy as the falling drops danced their way in the gentle wind. He sighed in satisfaction creating joy and life.

They both merged into me that evening – this unusual pair. I don’t know what to call them – “friends” is too light a word. I did hear their last calls to each other as they understood at the end, their lives’ meaning and their errors. I interfered just enough to let them hear each other and pass on in contentment. Nature smiled at my trespass of her boundaries.

Realization – it dawned at evening twilight.

I shall remember these two and this day.

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Subhash Iyer

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