Rain Taps

Well, a candid moment to all, fair-minded readers!  How has the world treated you the past days?

Has Fortune went against you, or grinned upon you?

If it did, by all means, let thy good face reflect the sun beam of her smile, and, with kindly disposition stimulated by its amiable influence, look also favorably upon the fortune of others.

Or, has the fickle Misfortune frowned upon you, like the moody clouds of the sky, making you want to shout, “Ayna, na-bwisit la ngarud ti lakad ko itatta nga aldaw, nabasa nak pay laeng ti tudo nga nagpigsa. Whee! Awan pay cooperasyon na bassit ti panawen!”

Pshaw! Now, don’t you mind Misfortune one whit, for there’s comfort in store for you yet.

Flowers of May have wilted, fragrance of June has scampered in every nook cranny of your homes, hiding yet peeping with expectancy at the coming of July rain.

From the shelter of your mind, through the window of your eyes, you hear the tapping of the rain like a stranger come a-visiting, knocking on your roof and walls.

So, finally, the rains arrived, like prodigal troubadours or gypsies that flitted where we know not, they packed their wet bags for home, to stay, to roost, momentarily or longer still, and pester us with their   pleasure, or damn us to distress.

Mother Nature has a way of saying her conviction. When adorned in brighter green, she suddenly makes us remember what mortals are, by nature, and what mortals ought to be, by grace.

Simply put, Mother Nature is telling:  go with my tide, not against it; that it’s time to bring out that old but reliable umbrella and swing it on your shoulder, just like a patriotic soldier.

How often, we do take a snipe or snide remark at Nature. When it’s raining, we grumble, “Anya met, agtudtudo manen.”  When its sunny, we complain, nonetheless, “Ay apoh, nakapudpudot!”

One gets a curious feeling, with such attitude, we magnify trouble and make ourselves ingeniously wretched. No?

Speaking of wretchedness at this time of rain, this wretched daily laborer fidgets and squirms whenever his higher-up intimate to him to stay put in office, whenever big rains come a-falling, instead of him gallivanting over hills and mountains of Cordillera and lowlands of Region 1.

Last week, his boss ordered: “We don’t want you getting sickened by rain. Narigaten ti agsakit wenno ma-trangkaso. Agdulin ka pay ditoy upisina. Lubayam pay ti field work.”

This penniless laborer complained, “trangkaso, my foot!”  He pleaded his case he withers and dies like a flower when confined in office, should be out there in the fields dancing crazy with the rain, singing with the wind, share wit and mirth with families of his assignment and shouting invectives at the devil at his own delight.

His boss was unrelenting.  So, this vagabond of a laborer who always sleeps on the job slunk  into his cubicle,  stared outside  the window and heard  the tapping rains.

The tapping rains made him remember about a happy discourse between a teacher and her student that happened last week in La Union, when the teacher asked her pupil, Pekas:

Maestra: Pekas, nu adda maysa kilo nga karne ti baboy ket ginedwak, mannu tattan?

Pekas: Ket kagedwa a kilo, Ma’am.

Maestra: Nu ginedwak manen, manu?

Pekas: Tig wan port, Ma’am.

Maestra: Ket nu ginedwak manen?

Pekas: Apay nu ipagiling yu laengen, Ma’am. Parparigaten yu la bagbagi yu. Iramraman nak pay!

Rain taps sometimes outlives other hours in time. The day is passed with all its perplexities and cares and for a time, we are permitted to enjoy the sweets which memory awakens, just like what transpired between Pekas and his fine teacher.

It’s delightful to reflect on the past as rains pitter patter by, because the present will be appreciated and the future prepared for.

Rain taps remind that mornings and noondays of life may pass unheeded, but evenings of existence will come and it may beam with hope – that we should improve life as it passes.

As rain taps will always come to pass, they will pass, formless as they are, but destructive if they want, and woe to any unprepared mortal.

Rain times are moments in life in which we are led to contemplation, time when the past is recalled; when the future is anticipated. Rain taps are gifts, or curse.

Finished with contemplation, this idle laborer turned away from the window when a knock rapped at his office door. He opened the door and saw two gentlewomen friends, come to talk to him. He bade them in. The two gentlewomen were sopping wet, apparently caught unprepared by the rain.

Looking at the gentlewomen, this poor example of a laborer looked at his visitors and was at a loss about the word, “gentlewomen,” and what sort of gentlewomen were his visitors.

Whether gentlemen or gentlemen is a term vaguely understood or indistinctly applied.

Why so? Come, now fine readers, you know for a fact that there’s what we call “gentlemen by birth, gentlemen by education, gentlemen’s gentlemen, courting gentlemen, elderly gentlemen, gentlemen of the city council,  the mayor gentleman,  lawyer gentlemen,  walking gentlemen, strolling gentlemen, running gentlemen, gentlemen’s pensioners, laughing gentlemen, gentlemen of the Press, Honorable gentlemen, respected gentlemen, gentlemen whom nobody thinks worthwhile mentioning, light-gingered gentlemen, God-awful gentlemen, whatchamacallit gentlemen,  etcetera.”

Turning his attention to the two, this unworthy laborer said, “Well, gentlewomen, what can I do for you? I’m yours at your command.”

One of the gentlewomen, Sarah, said, “I would like to ask for advice.”

Aha! That’s what this fool of a worker is, expert on giving advice.  He gleefully spat on his palms (the gentlewomen cringed in disgust at what they saw), rubbed his palms together and said, “Fire away, my friend Sarah. What’s your problem that I can’t solve, eh?”

Sarah said, “How do you make my husband unhappy?”

For first time in his life, this unlearned laborer’s face fell unhappy, hearing such curious request.  Why make a husband unhappy, Dang it! Scratching his lice-infested beard, he thought long and hard and spoke:

“To make a husband unhappy, wife must seldom see him. If husband is cheerful and warmhearted, greets wife with smiling face and affectionate manner, after a long absence, wife must look coldly upon husband.”

If husband asks where the wife went, wife must answer only in monosyllables and explain nothing.”

“If husband forces back tears and is resolved to look cheerful, wife must gape at him till husband is fully convinced of wife’s indifference.”

“Wife must never take interest in husband’s pursuit. And if husband asks for advice, wife must make husband feel he is impolite and troublesome.

“If husband attempts to rouse wife good humoredly, wife must never join in the laugh, instead frown husband into silence.”

“If husband has faults (like all men do have), wife must keep harping on it. Treat all husband’s remarks with indifference.”

“In company, wife must never show she has a husband.”

“If you follow all my directions, you can be certain of a heart-broken husband,” this weird laborer ended.

The two gentlewomen nodded and rose to go. Again, this ugly laborer, spat on his palms, rubbed them together, opened his palms and said, “Ehem, gentlewomen, da moolah, eh?”

Sarah arched her eyebrows and said, “Mola? Saan ka met nga agmulmula”

Your penniless laborer answered, “I mean, he-he, the fee, the fee of the advice.”

Sarah laughed and said, “Ay, utang mi pay kenyam, Ah Kong. Wen?”

As they left, this sad-looking laborer pinched his ears and wondered if the rains had something to do with the curious happiness of Sarah.

Happiness? Aye! Each mortal is engaged in pursuing that cause. How various the means, how wild the scheme to attain it, even as the rain taps laugh.

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