“Rain meant that God was crying.”

In all honesty, it took me days to come up with a conclusion about what my six-word memoir should be. I brainstormed; I wrote alternative memoirs in case the others weren’t as good as I had originally thought; I wrote alternatives to those alternatives; I revised and erased. But when I thought of this memoir, I believed that it fit all too well, and that it showcased a significant memory from my life.

I grew up in a fairly religious household. My mother is Orthodox Jewish and my father is Orthodox Christian, so I always either attended synagogue and Hebrew School, or church and Sunday School. I am very happy that my parents exposed me to both religions, because I think it allowed my mind to be as open as it is today.

I remember during one summer (I was probably in the first grade or so), it would rain a lot. There were storms and lightning crashes and thunder claps and the sky seemed so livid.

One Sunday during a particular rainy morning, my family was driving to church. I sat in the back seat on the passenger side, the rain falling quite profusely. Plump droplets gathered along my window as if they were huddling for warmth, and the sky was smothered in what looked like messy, sloppy strokes of grey paint. I remember looking at the rain and feeling puzzled. I spoke above the music on the radio, over the raindrops that made their own pitter-patter rhythm as they bounced off the car. I asked my mother, “Why is God crying?”

Of course, when you’re about seven years old, the scientific realm containing the details of precipitation and the water cycle have yet been introduced to your mind. I legitimately thought that the reason we were having so many rainstorms was because God was upset. And it made me upset. I started to cry, but I tried my hardest to hold my tears back. I wondered if it was something I did that made God so upset at the world. I wondered how I could make it right again. I wondered if I was the only one who knew.

I can look back at that moment in the car and see it as a sort of metaphor. Sometimes when it rains, or when bad things are happening to us, we tend to cry about it or wallow in self-pity, either blaming the situation on ourselves or others. By doing this, we create a personal, mini rainstorm in our minds. Instead though, we should look for that bit of sunshine glazed over the horizon, and place our hope in that. I believe that’s the choice we were given since Day One: the choice of whether to be be rained-out, or to be radiant.

Feel free to leave your own 6-word memoirs below, along with your explanation. I’d love for us to share our stories and provide support for one another by offering our own bits of optimism to each other.

Happy writing!

13 thoughts on “Discovering Optimism: 6-Word Memoir

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