Have any of you read Ray Bradbury’s 1954 short story “All Summer in a Day” or seen the 30 minute adaptation in 1982 by PBS childrens’ series “Wonderworks”? For some reason this morning as I was driving to work in the rain, I was reminded of this story that I’d seen once at age 8 and which has stayed with me ever since.
(Spoiler Alert: I strongly suggest that those of you who have the time–follow the first link above to read the short story. I promise that it really is short.)
It’s a story about a class of 9 year old children who reside underground on Venus due to the never ending torrential rain. The sun reveals itself for a mere hour every seven years and none of the children (save one) can recall what the sun is or that it even really exists. This one child (named Margot)…who moved to Venus from Earth at age 4 actually remembers the sun and as a result seems to suffer all the more for it’s lack on Venus. She’s an outcast from her classmates and in a moment of cruelty they lock her in a closet mere seconds before the highly anticipated hour of sunlight is to arrive. It is there that she spends this precious hour–while her classmates play and romp in the sunshine that they can scarce believe is real. Upon the return of the rain, they return to the classroom much subdued and in shame remember that Margot is still in the closet….and finally let her out.
I love the imagery in this story–”…they squinted at the sun until tears ran down their faces, they put their hands up to that yellowness and that amazing blueness and they breathed of the fresh, fresh air and listened and listened to the silence which suspended them in a blessed sea of no sound and no motion.”
As well as it’s poignancy –”They stood as if someone had driven them, like so many stakes, into floor. They looked at each other and then looked away. They glanced out at the world that was raining now and raining and raining steadily. They could not meet each others’ glances. Their faces were solemn and pale. They looked at their hands and feet, their faces down.”
Most of all though, it reminds me to appreciate every moment…to see the subtle balance in everything around me…to understand that the sun would be nothing without the rain…
So today…I am thankful for the rain.
What inspires you to be thankful? And for what are you thankful today??