Rain Matters - Nicola Chimes
Runner-Up Year 7/8 Tasmania
Year 8, Kingston High School
Have you ever felt the rain as it slides down from your fingertips, coating your arms in a layer of liquid? Well, next time you do, watch as a single drop trickles down a strand of your hair, collecting at the end of the strand and, finally, dropping off and landing in the collecting pool in your palm. The water gathers there, in the creases of your skin. In the curls of your eyelashes. In the gap between your parted lips. It pours outside but you feel no need for an umbrella, to wash away such a blessing. Your eyes are wide and curious and you are so awake. You look around you, at the grey city full of such grey people. But the water enhances them somehow...it is vivid and new and clever.
Your green eyes follow a taxi - one of those classic yellow ones with a sign on the roof - as it drives by. Through the windows you catch a glimpse of a girl just like you, with light brown hair and big eyes and rosy cheeks. She is just like you, seeming to be just as mesmerised by the rain as you are. But in the moment it takes for the car to pass (a flash), the girl is gone.
Have you ever seen the magnificence of two rain drops, as they race each other down a car window? When you next do, watch when your breath begins to fog the glass, creating an almost-eerie effect. It's spooky inside that car; in the most brilliant way possible, however. You notice the fellow cars surrounding you. All either grey or black, with the exception of a yellow taxi, here and there. Your ride is red, and it stands out in the dark atmosphere. You are relieved. The thought of "blending in" has never appealed to you. You may deny it, but you and everyone else all know that you are original, unique, pure you. So many people claim to be so many things, drowning in the uncertainty of themselves. But not you.
Have you ever tasted the palate of freedom and routine and everything in between? As if the rain is not so much a person but rather a personality, unfazed by its enemies but also its admirers, somehow? Next time you are provided the privilege, notice how rain is much like you, independent and sure of itself, not feeling the need to corrupt itself with the opinions of others. Everyone's just insecure, you tell yourself. And you are not wrong.
Your lips are white and chapped tonight, blown dry by the (although slight) breeze. One - only one - drop of fresh water slips onto your tongue. It's ice-cold and at first bitter, but then sweet. Sweet in an organic way; sweet in an entirely inartificial way; sweet in the truest of ways. You'll find that rain never lies.
Have you ever smelled the rich density of fresh water, feeling it's pure spirit in your bones, as if lead was a supplement for your blood and the essence of rainy days coursed through your veins? I'm sure you have. And when you next have this chance, inhale deeply. This is a chance you will never get back. This very second, whether it be your first or second or hundredth or billionth or quintillionth or nonillionth or last, it will never return to you. Rain is so precious, much like time.
Appreciate the rain, for a second under it may give you the happiness of a lifetime.
Inhale the air, but never exhale the moment.