Raining Cats and Dogs

2022.09.06 03:49

김수영 조회 수:3

 

Raining Cats and Dogs

                                                                          By Soo Yong Kim
    In the Bible, when Noah was 600 years old, God sent rain on earth for forty days and forty nights. All the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heaven were opened. The earth was covered with waters of flood. Only the ark of Noah was saved on Mt. Ararat but all creatures drowned to death.
    In Southern California, there was a torrential rain for few days. It reminded me of Noah’s floodwaters. No matter how hard it rained, I couldn’t compare it with Noah’s floodwaters. However, I was terrified with the heavy rain on the freeways. A drizzle, misty rain or fine rain awakens us to our emotion like a sweet rain in drought. It makes us feel nostalgic and romantic.
    A torrential rain can make flood so that many people can get injured or drown to death. I don’t like a torrential rain. It can bring casualties and property damages. It leads to devastation and catastrophe. We come to suffering from natural disasters such as hurricane, rainstorm and landslide due to global warming. In Southern California, a sudden torrential rain was pouring for a few day, and there were many reports about damages due to hard rain.
    Today, it has been raining cats and dogs all day long. From the morning, it was overcast and started raining. I didn’t feel like driving somewhere in the rain. It was snow with rain. When it rains, I feel gloomy. Usually, I listen to music or read books. It results in bright mind. I had better finish reading “The Shack” by Paul Young or the essay book, “All right! Because we are still alive!” by Wan Se Park, Hae In Lee and Ho Sung Jung. I was sitting at the desk reading the above books in silence. 
    Out of the blue, I received a phone call from my senior pastor who had been living in Lucerne Valley pass the Big Bear. She asked me for a favor to come over to her house at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
    It takes few hours for round trip from my house to her house. Her residence is very far from my home. I was wary of driving that far. However, I said, “Yes, I’m going to be there,” without hesitation. She told me that there was no rain in her city. She didn’t realize   how hard it rained in my residential area. I made up my mind to drive my car to her house and entered the freeway. It didn’t rain in torrents at the beginning. I have never visited her house so that I didn’t know how to get there. She gave me instruction on how to get there. I was annoyed and irritated with the rain.
    I was driving very carefully changing freeways because I was not familiar with the road. All of a sudden, it was raining cats and dogs. It was impossible to see in front of me even though I used windshield wipers. My car was crawling forward and I was slowing down praying to God for safety. 
    When I entered the third freeway, the rain gradually was slowing down. I got more confident and composed myself. This freeway was running along the mountainside, and it had some pretty views on the way. I gave thanks to God. My nightmare was gone. I could drive with confidence viewing beautiful sceneries around the freeway.
    I prefer the mountains to the ocean. A few years ago, when I visited a friend of mine living in Houston, Texas, I couldn’t see the mountains along the freeway and only plains. I came to dislike Texas. Thanks to my senior pastor, I could see beautiful sceneries on the freeway. I got off the freeway and I was driving toward Lucerne Valley. There were vast plains around the country road. She lives by the beautiful Big Bear Lake.
    When I arrived at her house, it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon. It was not raining at all. The sky was azure and clear and sunny. I was suspicious of my eyes. I invited her to dinner at restaurant and we paid a visit to New Life Mission Center where a pastor has been treating drug addicts from prison and evangelizing them to be Christians. The Mission Center is located in the middle of the mountains. When I drove my car on the unpaved road, I felt like my car was dancing. It was almost 5 o’clock.
    We met the pastor who was ministering to the drug addicts about  Christianity and I donated  some money for his ministry. The dusk came upon and I rushed to the freeway. I was happy to see the minister but I was under the pressure to drive back home before the dark. When I saw the sky toward my house, I could see the sky overcast. It looked like it was supposed to rain. I acted on a hunch. I could predict a heavy rain was about to come down bucketful. Beyond the shadow of doubt, it began to rain, and I was in a pickle.
    It was raining harder as it was getting darker. Objects were invisible because of the hard rain. I was having nightmares.  And to top it off, the freeway fogged up so that I couldn’t see anything clearly in front of my car. I was terrified for my life. I was crawling like a snail. The drivers behind m
y car honked at me acting impatient. I have never driven hard like this. When I was on the way to my senior pastor’s house, it was daytime and there was no fog at all. But this time it was quite different. I was all of a sweat. It was a scary scene. I felt like I was on the brink of death. I felt like I was a heroine in a detective novel as well. The scene was full of suspense and thrill. 
    I came to stiffness of my physical body with horror and tension. It was foggy and dark. I was appalled at horrible situation on the freeway in a heavy rain. All of a sudden, I remembered the novel titled “Rain” by W. Somerset Maugham. In this novel, it has been raining cats and dogs for 2 weeks. I associated this terrible rain with the rain in this novel. Almost same rainfall as in Pago Pago harbor in American Samoa Island in South Pacific Ocean reached its highest level.
    When I was a sophomore in college, Prof. Wang Rock Chang taught this novel. For the first time, I learned an idiomatic expression, “To rain cats and dogs”. This idiomatic expression and the novel itself were so impressive impact on me that I could never have forgotten it through my life. I experienced same rainfall on the freeway as in the novel. All characters in the novel are unique, distinctive and grotesque. They appeared in my memory like panorama. W. Somerset Maugham is up to par equal to Guy de Maupassant, French novelist. He was a British short story writer and play writer. His masterpiece, “The Moon and Sixpence” is based on Paul Gauguin’s life, French painter on Tahiti island.
    A ship was bound for Samoa islands north of the Tutila islands. There were two families, Dr. Macphail and Mrs. Macphail and, Rev. Davidson and Mrs. Davidson on board together. The ship was in quarantine because of a case of the measles in the ship. The white passengers are thrown together in close quarter, in the house of a half-caste trader, because there was no hotel in Pago-Pago. 
    Environmental situation makes the novel more dramatized. The continuous raining cats and dogs leads to tragedy more seriously. Miss Thompson was lodged downstairs in the same house. Peace and harmony, however disrupted by her. They are made to tolerate her presence in the same house. However, the situation becomes unsustainable when they realize that Miss Thompson is a prostitute and she is carrying on her usual business under the same roof. Mr. Davidson sets to work and finally has Miss Thompson in his grip when he finds out her weakness. She was supposed to be imprisoned in San Francisco due to her crime she committed. 
    But she didn’t want to go back to San Francisco. She was eager to flee to Australia to have freedom. During the next couple of days, Miss Thomson turns into a wreck. She is apathetic and spends her days reading the Bible and praying with the missionary, who becomes ecstatic as he obsessively guides the young woman through repentance. The situation is so bad that she even starts to look forward to her punishment because it seems like an escape from the intolerable anguish of waiting. Meanwhile, the weather is horrid; it will not stop raining. On Monday, Miss Thomson receives a call telling her to be ready to leave the next day at 11.
    In the middle of the night, Macphail is woken up by Mr. Horn. The trader leads him to the shore where a group of native people are waiting. When they open up the circle, the doctor sees the dead body of the missionary Davidson, with his throat cut from ear to ear, the razor in Davidson's right hand. He concludes it was a suicide.

    When he was found dead on the beach, it stopped raining. It has been raining cats and dogs for 2 weeks.
    I could sympathize with him in a way. Thinking of the story, I could tolerate horror in the hard rain on the freeway. I couldn’t remember when I arrived at home. I could relax and feel at ease. I was grateful for the novel.
    During a hard rain, Rev. Davidson committed adultery with miss Thompson. Does rain have magic to seduce people? (Translated in 2022)

 

 

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