25 April 2011

banana pancakes

Today, it rained.
The skies opened up.
And it rained.
We were in the last class of the day when the skies released their pent-up contents. Someone in my class was presenting his question, and there was a big boom of thunder. And I thought it was a bomb, which is completely illogical; but I completely thought it was a bomb. Or a missile. Some sort of self-destructive device. I really did; my first thought was, "oh, why did a bomb just go off?"
Back to the story.
So the kid continued with his speech, and I tried to pay attention. But then an even bigger "bomb" fell (so to speak) and this time it shook the classroom (we're in one of those portable trailer things). But he kept going, and the thunder got really intense. We actually screamed at one of them. But my teacher was so completely unaware it was a little frightening. He just kept on talking about the Vietnam War casualties and how they were climbing; but we were about to have 35 casualties as well if this storm didn't pass over.
It didn't pass over.
With a final clap of thunder, the floodgates opened. The sky poured out of itself and into our school's back "yard". The rain smashed the metal roof of our portable, and at this time my teacher turned on the air conditioning, which sounds like a rusted out combustion engine from the '50s. The poor kid was like yelling at us now - "and Lyndon B. Johnson's 'Great Society' policy also worked to help the poor people get an education!" Good times.
It was about 40 minutes before we had to leave. It would let up.
It didn't let up.
In fact, the most intense part of the storm was the end of class, when we had to walk outside to get back inside the building. It's not a good system.
Me and my friend opened the door - well actually the wind took the door from us and pulled us outside into it's monsoonish mess (I'm convinced that Georgia is like India - a dry season and a rainy season) - and we couldn't see past the stairs. The rain was flying in all directions, not straight down, so even staying on the paths under the roofs was a futile attempt to stay dry. We just had to go for it. And I was already annoyed that I was going to get soaking - literally drenched - in acid rain.
So she took off her shoes - they were good ones - and said "alright, let's go!" And we ran like convicts escaping from prison through the beating rain and down the huge path to the door. It totalled about 2 minutes, but we were soaked. There was no way to stay dry.
But we were laughing the whole time. So much in fact that I forgot I was getting wet and a slushy combination of red clay, water, dirt, and grass caked the bottom of my feet. We got inside and just laughed.
Why is it that ridiculous things that should make us mad can become sources of joy?
It's because sometimes we think we are too mature for ourselves. We forget that humans like to have fun and that sometimes we need to be shown that not everything goes right and it's ok. Like today - the rain showed us all that things can be inconvenient, annoying, and I'm-not-in-the-mood-ish, (and evidently sometimes wet), but we have to go with the flow (literally, don't try to go the opposite direction of the rain - you'll just get more wet) and laugh at yourself a little.
I named this post "banana pancakes" after one of my favorite Jack Johnson songs from one of my favorite Jack Johnson albums, In Between Dreams. The song is not only catchy and rhythmically sound (ha! get it - it was a pun too) but the lyrics remind you to have fun and let loose.
I looked online and found on one of my favorite websites - Yahoo! Answers - things that make people happy. Here are some of them:

comedy movies ~ spaghetti and meatballs (I can agree) ~ Christmas ~ listening to music ~ "watching trains go by" (?) ~ family ~ "being happy makes me happy" (isn't that great) ~ "nutella, crackers, and brie" ~ traveling ~ summertime ~ pets ~ doing creative things ~ ice cream ~ "my life and almost everything in it" (how passionately deep!) ~ singing birds ~ good weather ~ "a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows on a cold winter day, plus a cat in my lap" ~ helping other people (humanitarians unite!) ~ chocolate

A pretty decent list I would say. And aside from some fools who said "nothing makes me happy", everyone pretty much said music, family, ice cream (no other food in particular), friends, and having fun. Rarely did they say money or fame or fortune.
Which goes to show you that happy people are simply happy with simple things. Which in reality, are not so simple at all.

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