Post by Sarah K.
After the Rain
“Beware of monsoon season,” I was told countless times before I went to I India. “Beware of the rain.” Yes, in India it rains a lot. I don’t think there has been a day where I’m not welcomed by the familiar pitter patter of a crazy India rainstorm. But unlike most, I love the rain. It’s reassuring, it’s calming, it’s freeing and most of all rain is universal: no matter where you are rain is the same. The rain in India reminds me of home. But I only just discovered my love for rain on this trip. This is because I lost my nice raincoat on the first day in Delhi and was left with a baggy red poncho that when put on made me feel like I was being roasted alive. (Don’t worry mom and dad, I have since found my raincoat and it is safe in my custody)
This feeling of being annoyed by rain soon changed one rainy day in Baraich. In Bariach we were privileged enough to stay in the Global School of Learning, a school for pre-nursery through class ten kids. One day the group leaders gave us free time when suddenly, something quite normal for India happened, it started to pour. Feeling cooped inside I went to talk to my friend Kalkidan. I had a spontaneous idea that I had always wanted to try and now the timing was perfect.
“Let’s go dance in the rain”
“Let’s go dance in the rain”
Kalkidan smiled. She was on board. I quickly grab my raincoat, Kalkidan grabs a bar of soap and we run outside. On my way out someone yells after me “I don’t think you’re gonna need that raincoat” but I didn’t stop to think. I just ran. Outside it was pouring, and I mean pouring. Big fat India raindrops transcended from the sky. My smile grew and grew as each drop hit my coat.
We ran barefoot along the dirt road and the squishy mud felt like a cushion beneath my toes. Finally we reached the concrete stage outside the school. The thing with concrete is that once it’s wet it’s becomes smooth and slippery, almost like an ice skating rink. So Kalkidan and I jumped onto it and danced without needing to pick up our feet. We danced the tango, the boogie, and Kalkidan unsuccessfully tried to do the worm. I felt free. I felt pure bliss. I felt jubilation. And at the time I did not know why.
Yes, dancing in the rain is fun. There is nothing like the feeling of sliding across concrete and doing something so ridiculous that you can’t help but smile, but that’s not really why I felt so happy. Back in the US, I do a lot of things because I am either told to do them or am expected to do them. Every night I spend hours on homework because I’m told to, I eat dinner because I’m told to, brush my teeth, do the dishes, watch my little sister, wake up on time, or spend time with my family. I’m not saying these are all terrible things (well maybe doing the dishes but i could rant to you about the dishes some other time) But playing in the rain was the first time in a long time where I did something not because it was expected of me, not because I had too, but because I truly wanted to do it. And that is powerful. When I first came to Baraich I was feeling very lost. I felt purposeless. We were seeing all these incredible things, all these heartbreaking things, all these complicated things and all I could do was watch. Whats the point of me being here in India I thought? What’s the point?
I believe that each and every one of us is a tiny little puzzle piece amidst the intricate, ever-moving puzzle of life. And that sometimes, if your lucky, all the pieces will shift and for a moment everything will become clear. In the rain, in this moment, the pieces shifted for me. Amongst the huge spectrum of emotions fighting inside me, I was suddenly overtaken by a wave of clarity. I’m here in India because I want to be in India. I’m seeing the good and the bad, the ugly and the kind, all because I want to. And that is reason enough. Before Baraich I had spent many long nights thinking about what my purpose in life is But what I’ve discovered is that i don’t need to find my purpose, by doing things I truly, truly, truly want to do, I have one. Pursuing what i love it gives me my purpose. My purpose stems from within.
Now when I go home I’m still going to be forced to do things and I’m still going to have expectations pressuring me to act but I’m also going to make sure i find time to do what I love. I am going To act because I want to not because I have to. I am going to follow my passions and not others expectations. I’ve been trying to find my purpose for so long but all it took was some rain, some music and some spontaneity to discover my purpose has been there all along.