It's April 28 today, not quite May yet, but the first rain after the hot spell just fell. Gee, did summer go that fast? My children have been complaining the whole day how hot it was. Then as if on cue, the first drops of rain were heard. It only took three words from their father to send them scampering outside in a second. "Ligo sa ulan!" (Bathe in the rain). When the small scattered drops gave way to a full shower, there was nothing to stop them.
Traditional Beliefs About the First Rain of May
I grew up hearing from the elders in our family how the first rain of May is supposed to be beneficial in terms of luck and curing skin certain skin conditions. Some even believe that rain that falls exactly on the first day of May is holy and blessed and can be used to drive away evil. Such rain is often referred to as "Agua de Mayo".
I'm not really sure about all these beliefs but the first rain of May never fails to bring back the moments when those ideas were introduced to me. I told my own children about them. I have to admit though that I stressed the part of enjoying bathing in the rain more than anything else.
Bathing in the rain was part of my childhood. It was probably one of the rare times when my siblings and I were not cautioned against getting wet under the rain by our elders. While getting wet under the rain is usually avoided so as not to get sick, the first rain of May offered an excuse to enjoy the wonder of nature.
My brothers who were of course more adventurous than me, even submerged themselves in rain puddles. Back then, we were not concerned about the bacteria and viruses lurking around. Ahh... but the environment was a lot cleaner then.
Watching my children enjoying themselves under the rain made me remember that there are still things in this world that can be enjoyed for free. I marvel at the speed of their reaction when they were told to go bathe in the rain. They left their computers without any second thoughts and even requested me to just close it for them lest the rain stops at once. They called on me to join them.
That said, a part of me wanted to join them especially when my husband hosed them with water much to their delight. Sad to say, the adult prevailed over the child in me as it took me quite some time to decide because " I have so many things to do". The rain stopped while I was thinking. This should remind me to let the child in me prevail once in a while because chances to enjoy the simple things in life may be gone before I have the luxury of having nothing to do.
That indeed would be very sad.