Phillip knelt on the floor and leaned in to hug them both; they split apart and took sides of him, clutching an arm apiece. He turned slowly, back against the chair, and the children dragged the blanket over him as well. “It’s gonna be okay,” he said.
“The rain sucks,” Jeanne said.
“But we need the rain,” Phillip said, “to make the sunny days much better.”
“I know,” Jeanne said. “Just, does it need to rain so much all at once?”
“Listen,” Phillip said. “Do you hear that?”
“What?” Gene asked. “God saying ‘no more rain’?”
Phillip chuckled. “Not quite,” he said. “Listen closely. And count.”
“One, two, three… one, two…” Jeanne began. “It repeats.”
“Yeah, I hear it,” Gene said.
“That’s the rhythm of the rain,” Phillip said. “The rain is giving us a song.”
“But it’s changing, too,” Gene said. “A little bit at a time, but it’s changing.”
“Each loop is different than the last,” Jeanne said. “Like, a few drops are off here and there.”
“The storm is alive, just like we are,” Phillip said. “But like us, it’s not going to hurt us as long as we don’t hurt it. It’s singing to us, and asking us to just listen.”
“What if we don’t want to listen?” Jeanne said. “Why does it have to sing to us?”

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