A Raindrops Heritage

I’ve sometimes been gripped by the image of the raindrop, formed of moisture and dropping from the clouds. Some bigger, or smaller, moving faster or slower or in different ways than the human eye can ever distinguish. I imagine them pointing out these differences to each other as they rush unknowing towards the ground: some boasting of their proportions and qualities, and others wishing they could be like them, as they all hurtled downwards on a journey which is known to mankind, but full of mystery for the raindrop.

In time all of them fall to the ground below and become a sea of mud, puddle or a river. That was their purpose and fate all along: everything else was  details. When we look at the puddle, no one cares about the merits of the individual drops which formed it. That is just a way, metaphorically,  for the individual droplets to motivate and cheer themselves up against the vast backdrop of the unknown.

In the same way, life or photo-synthesis keeps exploring different avenues in which to express itself, and we, as species or individuals, are one of these. As we walk towards sweet oblivion dressed in some startling pink creation, or the rags of the poor, all life asks is, “have we passed our DNA down to the next generation” ? The rest is not, in these terms, a matter of great interest.

In the puddle of life, no raindrop says I got here first, so I must have the best position, All individual identity is lost in the purpose of the whole. It is not an image of oblivion. It is a story of discovery beyond the boundaries of our own concerns.

It is a metaphor, and not a philosophy of life, so it has its limitations. At the last report the ingredients of a human are much more complicated than that of a raindrop, but in other ways it has some truth. We spend too much time talking about our differences, and not enough celebrating what we share. We boast, too often for the smallest reason, instead of taking the larger view, and in some generations our identities will vanish into the puddle  of history and lose all individual identity. This is not a sad thing

Somewhere, just beyond our vision, and out of earshot, a wondrous, majestic and almost timeless drama is unfolding, and the less thought we give to our individual vanities and situations , and the more we agree to lose ourselves in the wonders of existence, the more inspired we  might be. The heart of the matter is, if we take some time to consider  ourselves as being fluid like water, and concentrate less on being individual droplets, the more the journey makes sense or at least  might do.

The more I lose myself in the sense of the world around me, somehow the richer the journey becomes. It has its downsides. I can knock into things because I don’t look where I am going, and my personal circumstances are sometimes subject to unsettling levels of uncertainty, but the view can be too mesmerizing for me to take my eye off it. Sharing it takes on an urgency all its own.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Life, life2 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to A Raindrops Heritage

  1. catterel says:

    Beautiful metaphor and so vividly expressed – I like the idea of being just a drop in a puddle.


  2. dmauldin53 says:

    Bravo! Your words are true and carry great meaning.


  3. cyberian says:

    can I be a boating lake, please?


  4. Ina says:

    Beautiful. Every raindrop has a history of its own, from river to sea to rain to river again…


  5. This is wonderful.
    It feels like something The Buddha might have said.



  6. Jane Thorne says:

    Lovely writing Ducky and it reminds me of a commencement speech in the States last year by David McCullough Jnr. to his senior year…none of us are special, therefore we are all special. We are all part of a whole. Hugs J x


  7. Writerlious says:

    I love the idea of individual droplets of rain coming together to form puddles and rivers. So beautiful.


  8. There are few concepts more fear-inducing to most Americans (maybe most Westerners) than the idea of giving up individuality or “egolessness.” Yet, your essay resonates beautifully with my philosophy of life. I am one with all that is. I focus on what makes us the same, not different. This doesn’t abrogate our unique qualities; I just chose to focus on our common joys and struggles–the things that make us human and part of the entire world of life with which we co-exist.

    Your metaphor is brilliant and brave. Once again, bravo!


  9. Al says:

    Once again, your eloquence brings intricacy into focus. Nicely said.


  10. babs50nfab says:

    Beautifully written Peter. We are all part of the whole and when we come to realize that we’ll be better off. It doesn’t mean giving up your individuality, just believing we all bring something unique to the whole.
    Thank you for your words and deep thoughts!


  11. This piece just blew me away! Beautifully expressed. I enjoy studying our individual differences but find a deeper meaning and connection when focusing on our commonalities. The world also seems far more peaceful when I do.


  12. This is full of wonderful ideas. I love; ‘Somewhere, just beyond our vision, and out of earshot, a wondrous, majestic and almost timeless drama is unfolding, and the less thought we give to our individual vanities and situations , and the more we agree to lose ourselves in the wonders of existence, the more inspired we might be.’ Gorgeous sentiment!


  13. I think I’ve fallen in love….(with your words, my dear) xx


  14. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    What a gift in themselves are your contemplations of the gift of the world around us.

    I am glad for your urgency to share it, for as every single person reads this post, like raindrops down a window pane running one into another, we pool together at the end of the day from whichever country we hail/what time, in appreciation, thanks to your beautifully scribed awareness.

    Precious thoughts, CountingDucks.


  15. Smaktakula says:

    It sounds like you’ve found a way of seeing things that really works for you; I think that is a lovely thing. There’s too much unhappiness in the world, and I often think that another happy person in the mix is a good thing.

    This reminds me of what very little I know about Buddhist philosophy, and the understanding that all is one. It’s much easier to care about others when you realize that all of reality is an interwoven fabric. As you can probably see, I don’t have my head around it all the way, but it’s intriguing.

    I think there’s many roads to happiness, to the meaning of life, but I think community or sense of purpose is central to all of them.


  16. nelle says:

    Having read quite the opposite just a bit earlier today, how wonderful to read your words. We are in sum always more than our individual parts. Our entire universe is constructed of things so small we cannot see, but look at the splendid result.


  17. Alex Autin says:

    Very nicely written, though I have to disagree…but only somewhat. While we are, indeed, all part of the whole, it’s our very differences which should be noted and recognized. If the best we strive for is sameness and uniformity we lose our innovators, our heroes, and those individuals who cause us to think and see things differently. In a collective, quite often, those who do not fit in or who think differently are rejected and ridiculed. While I’m quite certain this is not what you suggest should be our goal, and while I also enjoy cooperation and finding common ground, I more so enjoy connecting with, and discovering those, who think and behave entirely then myself.


    • nelle says:

      Yes, there is also strength and wonder in our differences. The danger is when we wander down the road of the US (where I live) and let weapons proliferate, decry social programmes that assist those in need, protect our children, the elderly, and anyone vulnerable.

      I’m a transsexual lesbian. I know what it’s like to be an outcast in society. We need to recognise diversity is a good thing. When we don’t, it prevents all of us from working together to build a better society.

      So yes, there is the individual track, but know when it helps and when it hinders.


      • AS you know Nelle, What you are and how you are described are not important to me as the passion and skill you display in your writing, or the sense of a person who has battled through difficulties. I love difference. Given my personality I have to. But I also love tolerance for the same reason. We are all different but also human and the same. What makes me cry can make you cry, and any temporary advantage I feel in any experience of life should be tempered by a sense of our common humanity and vunerability.


      • nelle says:

        Yes. We can rally to one another and accomplish much in the doing. I love diversity. Let it not hinder us from seeing to it all advance, not just a few.


      • Jane Thorne says:

        Nelle and Ducky, I agree with both of you. We are all unique, yet part of a whole. Our every thought, word and action causes ripples for the whole. No-one is more important than anyone else and in loving and supporting our fellow man, we support ourselves, each other and the whole. A rising tide raises all ships x


  18. This is amusing.” I have to disagree,…. but only somewhat”. I agree our differences should be celebrated, and indeed welcomed as healthy, and the sign of a vibrant community. It is not really the differences I question. It is the sense of superiority they engender. The strutting peacock is often unaware of his own folly, while a man secure enough in himself to admire the differences in others will never be alone.


  19. “In the puddle of life, no raindrop says I got here first, so I must have the best position, All individual identity is lost in the purpose of the whole. It is not an image of oblivion. It is a story of discovery beyond the boundaries of our own concerns.”

    How do you say it so perfectly, every time?:)

    You know, in my field, something has been nagging me for a while now: this propensity to critique EVERYTHING. I wasn’t able to grasp why that bothered me, because I agreed with a lot of what was critiqued, but I think I’m beginning to get a sense of it. While each and every critique might be valid, and worth mentioning, something is lost and pulled down when so much time and energy is spent in critique. There is a need to focus on what works, what can be salvaged, just a little bit of justified, non-grudging, nod of acknowledgement as well.

    I know this is not directly related to what you’re saying (and as I’m rushing to meet an appointment, don’t have time to read through the comments) but it made me think of this.


  20. renxkyoko says:

    Excellent thoughts, countingducks ! As ever !


  21. Vikingessa says:

    I really really like this one.


  22. eof737 says:

    Well said… and I have been discovering that fluidity in my small stones writings on my other personal blog… love this. 🙂


  23. Excellent writing and reflection … it reminded me of a group of fiction pieces I wrote some time ago but never published called “Stories Like Water”. Looking at nature always puts things in perspective. I will be sharing this. You always offer words for thought … but also for the heart and spirit. Thank you!


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