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Let me set the scene for you, so you can understand my train of thought and my reason behind my publication of this post. I’m sitting here in my bedroom, playing out a scene in my head from a dream I had the night before. In the dream, I find myself seated in a recliner in my room at the cottage or storm, where I resided during the school year. Before I go any further, I attended a school for the blind, which had a residential facility for students that stayed during the week and/or on weekends. While sitting in the recliner or on my bed, I am listening to my favorite music, either on records, cassette tapes, or on the radio. As the scene runs through my mind like a movie, the one aspect of this scene that I find interesting is the fact that it’s raining and I’m wearing my galoshes or rain boots that my mother bought me before school started back in the 1980s. Although I’m enjoying my music, there’s a strange feeling in the air. It’s comfortable yet it’s a bit off kilter. The rain makes an ominous sound on the roof of the cottage or dorm that I have been assigned to, during the school year.
Let’s change the scene. I am listening to either an audio book or some music in my room at home, before my parents put shingles on the roof. I hear the drumming of rain on the tin roof, while the fan hums in the background. My chair isn’t a recliner, but a beanbag chair. This beanbag chair is covered in plastic, instead of the cloth variety that you find today.
The fan makes an ominous high-pitched hum as the motor spins the blades at a slow speed. Little did I know at the time, that I could feel the vibrations of sound in the same way that I do now. Not only did I hear the fan’s high-pitched hum, but I felt the strange vibration of the fan. I had an odd sensation, as though my chair and even the floor, were floating downward, like the room was tilting forward, in a way. The only I can explain this sensation, is as though the vibrations in the air were shifting and making me feel a sense of urgency.
As a blind person, I can close my eyes and envision myself moving in various directions. I can actually feel the motion, while I remain physically still. I can feel this perpetual motion when I am reading or listening to a book, “watching” a movie, or tuning into the vibrations around me. My vivid imagination helps me to create stories, when I am in the midst of a writing session.
Let’s get back to the dream scene or the scene that I can picture in my mind. As the sound of the fan & the rain pounding the tin roof of my childhood home mingle together I stand up to keep from feeling as if I’ll fall off my chair. The
vibrations in the air shift again, and thunder rolls over my head. I turn off the music and the fan & make my way to the living room, where everyone else waits out the storm. The power goes out and all is silent.
My brothers and I huddle around my mama, as she turns on a flashlight & reads to us in the dark eerie room. As she finishes reading a children’s Bible story, the thunder drifts away, off in the distance, & the ominous rain dies to a soft pitter patter on the roof. The strange vibration in the air melts into a peaceful rhythm.
As the power comes back on, my brothers look out the window and gasp in awe at the rainbow they see through the white fluffy clouds, floating across the sky. The smell of a freshly washed front yard & the clean smell in the air after a thunder storm makes me sleepy. I head to my room after kissing my mama and daddy good night and let the sound of the fan sing me off to pleasant dreams.
The reason I write this scene, is because I’ve been listening to a book that was recorded during the days of talking book cassettes. Although the book that I am listening to at the moment, has been digitally remastered, the recording still brings back wonderful and comfortable memories from when I was a child.: Listening to those old books, whether I’ve read them before or not, the sound quality of the recording itself and the narrator’s voice cause me to visualize scenes that are inspired by my memories. Sometimes I’ll have weird and interesting dreams about the good old days. Sometimes these dreams and images that form in my head can be an inspiration to me, and I often times use these nuggets of inspiration to create blog posts like this one, and/or stories that I may turn into books or publish elsewhere later on.
My question for you is as follows: What brings back fond memories from when you were younger? This can either be a childhood memory or a memory from a short time ago. When thinking back upon these fond memories, what dreams do you have or what scenes and images form in your mind that inspire your writing or some other attributes of your daily life? You can answer these questions in one of two ways: 1. you can leave your answers in the comments below, or 2. you can share your answers on your own blog. When you write your thoughts on your blog or web site, please be sure to add a ping back to this blog post, so I can respond accordingly.
Happy reading, writing and God bless all of you my dear readers, followers and friends in the blogosphere.
I promised that I’d post the short story that was inspired by a dream I had yesterday, well here it is. Feedback in either the comments section or via the How to contact me page is welcome.
A Magical Rain
I sat on my bed, wishing I could go back home to my beloved family. “Lord, take me home,” I prayed every night before falling into a restless sleep. Every morning I went to school,, but the routine seemed dull to me, until one day, everything changed.
When I awoke on that unusual morning, something felt very strange. I felt as though the world was a little off kilter. The air felt thick and heavy, like a fog had covered the land over night. I took a deep breath of the morning air as I walked to the dining room for breakfast. “It smells like rain,” I told my roommate Shelly Walters.
“Why do you say that Anna?”
“Take a Whiff. Don’t you smell it?”
“I don’t smell anything.” She took a deep breath, but her body didn’t tense up like mine did when I smelled the rain in the air.
“Oh Shelly, I wish you could smell it, this smells like a rain that I’ve never experienced before in my life. It smells like a magical rain.”
“Oh bosh! You’ve been reading too many ferry tales. You need to get ready for another boring day at school.” Shelly let go of my hand and ran off, leaving me to find my way with my cane. In that moment, I discovered why Shelly couldn’t sense things the way I did. I am totally blind, and she is partially sighted. In my experience, people who can see with their eyes, don’t focus on their other senses like I do, so I had to enjoy this unusual sensation on my own.
After breakfast, I went back to my dorm room to brush my teeth and get ready for another boring day at school, when I heard the first tiny drops of rain pitter-patter on the roof. “You’ll need your raincoats today girls, It’s about to storm,” Miss Barnes, our house mother called as I hoisted my backpack onto my back. All of a sudden, the rain began to drum on the roof like a band of soldiers marching off to war.
As the rain fell, a strange chill came over me. I dropped my bag onto my bed, grabbed my little umbrella, and headed out into the downpour. “Where are you going child?” Miss Barnes called as I opened the heavy door that led outside.
“I’m not sure, I just know that I need to go outside.” I ran out into the midst of the storm, heedless of the calls from Miss Barns and my fellow students. In the middle of the sidewalk leading away from the dorm, I stood rooted to the spot as the rain washed away my dread of the day ahead.
I closed my eyes, and the school disappeared altogether. I stood in the center of a beautiful meadow. The raindrops turned into beautiful haunting notes of a violin. An angelic voice sang out, “Come child! See the beauty from the mountain top. Come and be free-ee-ee-ee! Come to meeeeeee! and Darling we will beeeeee!”
Before she could finish the last phrase, the song faded away as I floated to the top of a mountain. The view was like nothing I had ever seen or experienced before. I held on tight to the umbrella, as the violins continued to play a melody that filled my soul with peace and gladness. Another voice whispered words of wisdom deep from within my heart. “See the world with your heart, not your eyes. Hear the music of the world around you. Smell the flowers and the heavenly aromas on the breeze. Taste a raindrop, feel the wind blowing through the trees. Touch the sky, and let the wings of your soul fly away, away, away!” The words drifted with the scenes as they faded from view. I found myself walking to school, with my pack on my back, my cane in my hand, and a song in my heart.
“Can anyone tell me what they have learned from this unusual storm this morning?” Ms. Smith asked as we filed into the classroom and took our seats..
“I have something I would like to share,” I replied after raising my hand.
“Yes Anna? What did you learn?”
“I learned a very valuable lesson in this magical rain. I learned that if we close our eyes and see with our hearts, a world of wisdom will be opened to us.” I heard several kids snicker in the back row.
“What do you mean, if we see with our hearts? I have a hard enough time seeing with my eyes,” Shelly scoffed.
“If you focus only on what you see with your eyes, you miss out on a lot of the blessings, sent down from heaven.”
“This is not a religion class Anna,” Miss Smith reminded me.
“I know, but there is a lot to be said when you open your heart and mind and truly listen to yourself and your surroundings.”
“Now that Anna has shared with us what she has learned, let’s do a little experiment, to see if we gain the same understanding that she did this morning.”
“How will we do that?” Myah asked.
“I will play a short piece of music. As I play this music, I want you all to close your eyes, open up your minds, your ears, and your hearts. After the music ends, I want you all to tell me what you felt, heard, and saw, in your mind’s eye, if you can.”
We all closed our eyes, as the music began to play. I was back on the mountain top in a flash, enjoying the view from above. As I watched the scene unfold before me, I heard one word whispered upon my heart. “Sing.”
I opened my mouth and began to sing the phrases I heard in the magic of the rain. “Come children. See the view from the mountain top. Come and be free-ee-ee-ee! Come with meeeeee! You and I will see-ee-ee-ee the world with our heart!”
As I floated back to the classroom, the room remained silent for several long moments. “Oh Anna, I’m so sorry for not believing you this morning.” Shelly said, as tears streamed down her face. I was looking for clouds, and I missed the magic that you were trying to show me. Now I see it all plain as day!”
“Class, for homework, I want you to write me a story based on what you experienced today. Keep the memory of today’s lesson deep within your hearts, children.” Ms. Smith dismissed us a couple of minutes before the bell rang for our next class.
The peace and tranquility I felt that morning has remained with me to this day. I will always close my eyes and remember the magic I found in a single drop of rain.