Everyone remembers rain. I think rugby players have a special affinity for rain, when it is pouring down, and you are losing by 2, or 3 points, with as many minutes left to play. Chests are heaving after a break in play, trying, fighting to get oxygen and energy in, and vapour is rising in steam.
The rain pours, the drops skirting eyelids, sliding on the vaseline smeared there if you are a forward, part of the pack, but not noticed anyway. The captain making a secret signal, ball in hand, ready to take the free kick, the referee about to blow his whistle for the kick to be taken, but checking his watch anyway.
The ball about to be tapped, then thrown like a bullet into my chest, where I must grab it and hold, and be pushed over the line to get those 5 points. Must not fumble that slippery ball, or tumble when my team hit from behind to shove me over the line, as the other team line up, ready.
Then my team mate sees the butterfly in our path. Breaks away, scoops it up carefully, runs to a woman with an umbrella, watching, puts the butterfly on her arm. The referee looks on, bemused, then blows the whistle. The ball slaps into my sodden chest in the pouring rain. We charge, hit, hard.
But the butterfly is safe.
in the monsoon
one raindrop lands
on a butterfly
I learnt something that day. And life goes on.