The wind swept out the flooded floor of the sky, drenching the world below. I watched the night through the windows as the train hurried through the falling water. When we pulled into Hamadayama Station, I felt relief and dismay. In ten minutes, I could be home. But I had to walk through the rain to get there.
Ten minutes in that insistent rain felt like a lifetime. The cold didn’t think much of my jacket, and my umbrella was built for a kinder world. I carried the taut cloth over my head to hide myself from the sky, believing I could. Then I started walking.
My feet drowned first and my pants clung to me like a shroud. The wind resented the umbrella, which kept my head dry as long as it could. Finally, it threw its hands up in despair and surrendered.
I yielded to the baptism of rain until I managed to half open the broken umbrella. I belonged to the rain now. On the dark streets, I saw a few others, struggling forward. We didn’t speak. Lost in our private thoughts, we were willing ourselves to a place of belonging. All I could think of was home, where I would be safe, where I would be warm.
Those last few steps were the hardest. They always are.
You cannot imagine my delight, grasping that cold doorknob, knowing the door would open into a world of warmth and light, with all of my loved ones waiting for me.
It rained with fury that cold November night in Tokyo.
29 thoughts on “Getting home from the last station”
I just love the way you write. It is always so vivid and the words so beautifully woven together.
Thank you, Marie. I’m glad you liked it.
Love the phrase ‘Baptism of rain’ you have a lovely style.
Thank you so much.
The idea of a surrendering umbrella is not only a wonderful image but also a poignant concept!
I have had more than one that surrendered to the wind.
Oh so sweet. I know just that feeling, just giving up and letting the wind and rain penetrate you. It’s so much easier to surrender. Yet there is always home.
Perhaps the promise of warmth waiting there makes such a baptism possible.
In those storms, the hope of home all that keeps you moving forward.
I really like this vignette of your life in your life in Japan I hope there will be more.
I’m glad that you liked it.
Wonderful story… as I read, I am able to identify completely, and I want you to get home as soon as possible, to the warmth and the order, and the closeness of loved one… it’s just that I know that the moment you’ll open up that door, you’ll leave me… and I miss you already.
I think we all have been caught in those storms. And we do miss the ones who finally make it home.
Alive. As usual.
Thank you for reading.
I was in the grip of the storm right there with you–every word pulled me along and drowned me in your rain.
I appreciate that, Kathryn.
So…”it was a dark and stormy night”…?
It was indeed, and if I had been writing something in a lighter mood, I would have tried to work that phrase in. 🙂
I adore this. The writing is spare; the verbs are muscular. And that last line is a killer. The more essays you write for your blog, the more I am in awe of your tonal range and your broad subject matter. I am so, so glad I know you! You’re amazing, Yearstricken!
Thank you for your encouragement, Courtenay.
Liked your writing very much!! “Those last few steps were the hardest”… I feel this all the time !
I’m glad you liked this writing. Thank you for reading.
“Drenching” is such a good word. It’s so similar to “lavishing”. Thanks for posting your piece — so much description, I”m there…
Certain words speak to us, don’t they?
You make me very aware of my failings in the writing department, but you also make me oh so very thankful that people, like you, are out there who succeed splendidly with words. I love the painting you gave us with this post.
Cyndi, don’t downgrade your writing ability. I like your writing, not just your great photos.
I continue to offer….I will be one of a zillion who will read your first book! Write it….PLEASE!
Thank you so much for that encouragement.