She is the beautiful New York rain,
Misting joy on my toddler years.
Wiping my warm tears when the Fourth of July fireworks frighten me.
Brushing my thick black hair while I sit restlessly on my favorite kitchen stool.
Driving me through the upstate Ithaca hills to my weekly Indian dance practices.
She is the peaceful backyard rain,
Drizzling strength onto my childhood.
Recognizing my natural leadership abilities and ushering me into leadership roles.
Cheering me on from the stands of my afternoon soccer, softball, and volleyball matches.
Whipping up a savory meal of mango chutney chicken and rice for me and my siblings.
She is the fervent front porch rain,
Showering fear onto my pre-adolescence.
Taking me against my will to India to rediscover my roots.
Arguing with me in front of the family room computer about my poor writing and reading skills.
Driving me away with her screams, looks of disappointment, and “you can do better” talks.
She is the frigid and relentless driveway rain,
Pouring resentment upon my youth.
Hiding the only photos of my past from me for my own protection.
Filling me with hatred because I couldn’t meet her ever-rising and never-ending expectations.
Glaring at me with disdain through her fierce hazel eyes for not being better.
She in the inevitable Oneonta rain,
Raining infinite love over my young adulthood.
Listening to my tearful phone calls after stressful days.
Driving me to school in uncomfortable silences when we lacked words to exchange.
Smiling proudly in the front row as I publicly admit my love and pride for her and my family.
She is the mysterious, incomprehensible, and cool October rain,
Sprinkling me with an eerie, unspoken love.
Warming my clammy hand as I sit beside her looking gravely at friends surrounding us.
Opening her eye one final time to say to my father a last inferred “I love you.”
Leaving me prematurely to bring her graceful rain to strangers.
She is the quiet and salty rain,
Streaming down my cheeks.
Stinging me with regret for not jumping in her puddles.
Warming my heart with silly memories of our family.
Accompanying me each day on my new adventures.
Reminding me that she will always be my rain.
Dedicated to my mom, Cheryl T. Naslund, lover of quality writing, books, libraries, and travel.
Kalindi Naslund is a multi-local Spanish teacher, traveler, home chef, reader, and freelance writer. She currently lives in Catalonia, Spain where she teaches students English and takes Catalan classes. While she’s not busy in the classroom teaching or learning, she explores the Catalonian region, makes frequent visits to Barcelona, and travels around Europe.