Clouds in Vietnam

The clouds in Vietnam are the most beautiful I have ever experienced. Vibrant and full of water, they command attention; invoking awe and wonder when walking down the street, sitting outside at a cafe, or entering a roundabout where the sky seems to open up around you only for a moment before you’re once again enclosed by the shade of tree lined streets.

While walking into the hospital this afternoon, I looked up and saw the sky. I breathed deeply and gazed at the sunlight bursting from underneath the full clouds. As the lab work began, and my energy diminished, I found myself in a low place – frustrated by uninteresting data, unenthused to do additional work when little results were so likely.

It had just started drizzling, and my fellow researcher, Ofelia, and I needed a break. We headed to the hospital cafeteria, the canteen, stopping before leaving the research building debating whether to trudge into the rain. I reluctantly looked up at the green-grey sky, and didn’t allow myself any more time to contemplate. I leapt into the street and made a dash for it. The rain cooled my skin and my feet splashed into puddles as I ran. Halfway to the canteen, I could no longer contain my giggles, realizing I was totally soaked! For the next half hour, we sat and watched the downpour, eating rice and chicken and sipping on iced jasmine tea.

Watching the rain, water droplets still pooled on my arms and legs, I reveled in the physical cleanse before me. The water rushing down the tree branches, pouring puddles from the awnings in big whooshes, the wind pulling the rain in all directions, blasting mist into the canteen, leaving a sheen of water droplets on the metal table tops. I may lose energy, patience, and motivation, but the rain will come and renew. The clouds will soak the water back up, the cycle will continue. Running back into the rain, I felt fully fully washed, body and mind. I jumped both feet into a wide puddle, eyes closed, water splashing up my legs, rain soaking my hair. Some hours later, I emerged from the research building, greeted by renewed pink and purple skies, eyes twinkling as I headed home.

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