The Story of RainDancer

Written as the Preface for my unpublished memoir to be released in 2024

Growing up in a tropical country in Southeast Asia, it was hot. 

Some days, the temperature would climb, climb, climb to almost intolerable levels until breaking point.

It’s like having a raging fever. At some point, it must break.

As a child, my body was so attuned to the weather that I knew exactly the moment when the heat broke. In a matter of seconds, big raindrops would start to fall. Then it would turn into sheets and sheets of monsoon rain. The greater the heat, the harder the rainfall. 

I grew up in a four-level house with an open-space but private laundry area on the top floor. It was partially covered like a patio. 

My family did laundry old-school. We scrubbed clothes on a wooden plank over a soapy basin and hung our clothes to dry in the sun. 

As soon as I felt it was about to rain, I would abruptly stop whatever I was doing, race up the stairs to the fourth-floor laundry room, shut the door, grab the clothes on the line and bring them inside so they didn’t get wet. 

Then, I would take off all my clothes and dance in the rain naked. 

Dancing in the rain was a time I felt wide-eyed and open-hearted. 

I was playing. I trusted myself, I trusted life. I believed in my dreams, I believed in magic. I was allowed to be myself. It was the only place that felt safe to be me. 

Dancing in the rain, I was feeling, feeling, feeling, being, being, being. I was deeply receiving the wonderful nourishment of being fully alive. If the rain could speak, I’m sure it invited me to dance with it. The great big shower from the sky was a hundred times better than the shower from the bathroom. I closed my eyes and welcomed the raindrops as they fell on my face, like big juicy wet kisses from Mother Nature. I stretched my arms and spun around as my happy feet splashed on the puddles.

Dancing in the rain, I felt a joy in my heart and a lightness of spirit that I didn’t feel anywhere else. 

Dancing in the rain, I didn’t give a care about my grades, or the snarky gossip girl at school, or how I ached for my workaholic dad to spend time with me, or feeling ashamed of my chubby thighs.

Dancing in the rain, I was wild and free.

Dancing in the rain, I was home.