Finding Your Magical Rainforest

The day before Thanksgiving, it rained in San Francisco for the first time in 6 months. It was a big deal, and that Wednesday morning I entered my therapy office singing.  I was so grateful for the rain. We have needed the rain. With all of the smoke and devastation in the air, the rain was a welcome friend.

I love my office. Let me explain. The entrance to the office is a endless plants. The office is framed by a stunning arc of tall bay windows. They are kind of magnificent. The room is painted periwinkle. The vibe is soothing. So, I walk in, toss my coat on the hook and do my usual ritual.  I turn the lamps on, plug in the little table fountain, spray rose water, get out my papers and pens. Then, I heard the strangest little sound.. It was a constant Plink. Plink. Plink-plink-plink. Odd, right?

I looked over to my book corner, and saw that my copy of Jung and The Map of the Soul , was soaked. I looked at the ceiling, and watched as slow drips of rainwater continuously fell onto the books, the floor, the rug. We had sprung a pretty impressive leak. I moved my books aside, grabbed a bowl and some towels from the kitchen, and lay them on the rug. Then I texted my husband the following words:

“magical rainforest in my office, lol.”

But I realized he wouldn’t get the reference to the rainforest. Of course not, I had never told anybody him- or anyone else about it.

When I was 9, it was a pretty rough time for the Fleischman gang. We were evicted from our apartment and given 30 days to relocate. Luckily, we found an apartment 3 blocks away.. We “borrowed” 3 shopping carts to transport our stuff, and made trip after trip moving our things to our new place. Did I mention we weren’t the wealthiest family on the block?

The place was pretty drab with a few issues. But my bedroom was the most eccentric of all. I noticed this my very first night as I was organizing my stuffed animals on my bed. So many stuffed animals! An aggressive leak was pouring onto the wood floor. And this leaked continued, day in, and day out. We quickly learned that our landlord was less than ethical, so nightly my my dad and I created a ritual. We would cover the floor in newspapers and strategically place buckets to catch the water that would pour down.  We called my room - get this - “the magical rainforest”. Yup.

I know, you are thinking,, that’s a little gross. It was.  But let’s put that aside and remember that what made it tolerable was the idea of the rainforest.

Here’s the deal...Sometimes, when we have less resources like money for instance, we become incredibly creative, resilient, and inventive. Sure, I wish I didn’t live in a bedroom that was probably a bio-hazard when I was nine. Yes, I wanted to be like the kids in school who had cool clothes, designer jeans and non-leaky bedrooms. But, you do know that some days it does rain. Some days you feel like life is dealing you a pigeon poop sandwich. But to offset and overcome the trials of life, we need to create a world that is just a smidge gentler than the reality around us.

I don’t want anyone having a nasty stank leak in their bedroom. I don’t want anyone to suffer in any way actually. What I do want is to help lift your creative spirit. I want you to trust in your resiliency. I want you to know that you can get through any difficult time.  

And in these times, I ask you the following: can you trust that you have the internal resources to get through it? Because you do!!!  Just remember the Magical Rain Forest. Picture a curly-headed girl and her dad making enchantment out of ick and filth. And then smile because life will indeed get better.

Rachel Fleischman