In time of silver rain
The earth puts forth new life again,
Green grasses grow
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads 

  Of Life,
  Of Life,
  Of life! 

In time of silver rain
The butterflies lift silken wings
To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth new leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky
As down the roadway
Passing boys and girls
Go singing, too, 

  In time of silver rain When spring
  And life
  Are new. 

Langston Hughes

I saw it through the soft silver rain. I saw it with more than just my eyes. I saw it with a yearning heart, as my angst met with wonder and surprise.  

My new royal blue suit was soaked to the bone, taking on a navy hue, for as the procession began, the gray sky opened as though right on cue. What a day for an outdoor wedding, white chairs assembled on Auburn’s rolling green plains! Fool that I am, I never carry an umbrella, even when I can smell the rain coming for days.  

So there I sat, getting wet, as the wedding party walked down the aisle to greet the groom. Then I watched father give away daughter, and I started to witness my family anew. The bride looked so beautiful under that clear umbrella, huddled with her husband soon to be — their heads gently touching brow to brow for all the world to see.  

That’s when, through the silver rain, I swear I caught a glimpse of my departed mother with the bride, as my eyes moved to the bride’s father, his eyes raining with pride. He’s my mother’s brother, my uncle, still the youngest, though his hair turned gray long ago. 

My glance turned to my own younger brother, who had somehow found an umbrella for the rainy day. Nestled beside him was his wife, my sister-in-law. Though he had told me the news many weeks before, my heart truly saw at that moment that I was going to be an uncle! An uncle to my brother’s very own child! Past and future family woven together, the silver rain tasting salty in my smile.  

Will I live up to their example, the example my uncles set? Can I inspire a niece or nephew by becoming a better man yet? 

Yes! I can see it now: the songs I’ll share, the stories I’ll tell, all the little adventures yet to come! It’s not hard to see the best of me they made when I was young.  

On that wedding day, through silver rain, I saw my mother’s ghost bless the bride, as seeds of hope sown long ago flowered and fell from my eye — while memories of past and future combined and conspired to sustain the dreams of a broken fool caught without an umbrella in the rain.

Joey Clark is a native Alabamian and is currently the host of the radio program News and Views on News Talk 93.1 FM WACV out of Montgomery, AL M-F 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. His column appears every Tuesday in 1819 News. To contact Joey for media or speaking appearances as well as any feedback, please email

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to

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