Saturday, October 16, 2010
Raining on Venus
When I was in middle school, my English teacher would often ask us to get out the large heavy literature book that was under our chairs and read from the endless short stories contained within it's tattered cover. While I don't remember many of these stories, one has stuck with me over the years. I have no idea what it was called....
In a time when the other planets of our solar system were colonized, there was a settlement on Venus. This community of people were made up of mainly people who had been born on the planet; the community was a few generations removed from the original colonists from earth. The weather was terrible on Venus. Clouds of sulfuric acid would rain down every day and everyone had to stay inside least they get burned. The sun was never visible because of these storms but since the children never were able to play outside, the lack of sunshine did not bother them.
However, one day a year, it stopped raining for a few hours and everyone stopped what they were doing and danced outside. A few week before this day one year, a group of students discussed what they would do when the rain stopped. Most of the students didn't really care about the few hours they had once a year to play outside. Since they spent their lives inside, some felt that they were forced to endure the elements for those few hours and would rather just stay inside. During these conversations, one quiet boy in the class looked longingly out the windows to the sulfur laden cloud.
For this boy was from Earth. His parents have moved to Venus on a government assignment and this boy missed the sunshine most of all. He missed the green grass and the clean air. He missed a life spent outside; a life with rain he could run around in.
The other students noticed this boy's silence and began to mock him. They called him all sorts of names. They poked and prodded him. On the day that the rain stopped, a few of the students came up with the idea that it would be funny to lock this Earth boy in the closet when the rain stopped. It seemed humorous and ironic that the boy from earth, the one who wanted the rain to stop the most, would be unable to see it; he would be unable to go outside.
When the teacher wasn't looking the students pushed the Earth boy into the closet. The rained stopped and everyone went outside. The rain began again and every one went back inside. No one remembered the Earth boy until the custodian found him later that night. A few weeks later the boy from Earth and his family moved back to Earth and the students on Venus never heard from him again.
Its Friday night, October 16th now that midnight has passed. My flight from Detroit was 2.5 hours late and consequently 10 other passengers and myself missed our flight to Rome. I'm sharing a hotel room with a few other female passengers and we have been booked on a flight tomorrow. I pray that I arrive at the canonization on time for it is the only time in my life I'll get to attend a canonization for someone that I am related to. I really hope that I won't be locked in the closet of a plane, when the rain stops falling in Rome.