The rain drops thrummed on the rooftop, making it impossible to talk and be heard. Instead they silently stood side-by-side and watched the rain fall. Bubbles danced across the surface of the puddles and golden leaves of the trees shook loose, fluttering to the sodden ground below. Minutes passed and the storm began to lessen. Then, just as suddenly as it had blown in, the storm moved on.
A startling blue sky pierced the grey clouds and the sunlight glistened off of the wet surfaces. The trees sparkled as though covered in amber stones and rubies. The puddles reflected the sapphire sky and the green leaves and grass glowed like jade. The forest was clean and crisp, glittering and twinkling in the sunshine.
“That was exciting! Oh my, isn’t it beautiful?” Gretel exclaimed. “Everything is pristine. Well, except us, that is.” She laughed looking down at their mud splattered clothes and filthy boots, caked with soil. She squeezed her braids and laughed again at the puddle that formed at her feet. She stepped out from under the porch and closed her eyes letting the sun dry her face. Hansel watched her from the under the eaves.
The cloudburst had had curious effect on Gretel. The torrent had reflected the storm in her heart. The tumultuous and turbulent emotions regarding her father had overshadowed her of late. And now as the clouds cleared away, her sadness and turmoil scattered as well. She breathed deeply of the freshly bathed forest and felt her spirit refreshed. Closing her eyes again, she heard her father whisper to her, “Heaven washes away the grime of life leaving us restored, renewed and ready.” This time she found herself welcoming this truth, allowing it to wash over her as the rain had earlier. Her heart was softer and more receptive.
Hansel joined her in the wet grass and put a protective arm around his sister. She leaned her head against his shoulder, settling into the peace she remembered feeling under that honeysuckle bush years ago. “As long as we’re filthy, perhaps we should plant those bulbs,” she said smiling tentatively up at him.