The Morning After
For hours the rain fell steadily. As the cold front moved slowly but inexorably across the foothills, the precipitation began decisively and with purpose, unlike occasional showers that stop and start with a spit here and a sudden brief deluge there. The steady patter of raindrops hitting the ground was interrupted only by the occasional splash amongst the trees of leaves caving under the weight of the water. The downfall did not exceed a scotch mist by much, but what it lacked in force it made up for in determination and persistence.
And it was most unwelcome.
The baptism uncovered all, washing away soil concealing the crumbling remains of forgotten empires and failed civilizations, abandoned wreckage and buried ruins, the corpses of heroes and tyrants alike, uncovering stories the living had for centuries successfully shut out, resurrecting from the earth guilt that found itself an orphaned apparition in search of new and deserving hosts.
Creation professed an urgent desire for cleansing and redemption, but its guttural groaning protest belied the truth that remaining a white-washed sepulchre was vastly preferable to the pain of unearthing and resolving the shame and culpability of past generations.
The rain revealed and laid bare all. And its purpose ended there. It did not — and could not — provide the remorse, the penitence, the repentance needed to cleanse the world. It could not do the work of man to acknowledge and own what was now in plain sight. To pursue absolution and forgiveness. To reform the world as a place where injustice, hatred, violence are no longer intentionally concealed and ignored, but directly addressed, and where the scars of healing are revered as monuments of progress.