Set Yourself Free

Alireza Zare
5 min readJul 10, 2021

A lesson from my grandfather

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

My grandpa loved walking in the rain, especially when it drizzled, so did I as his sole companion. I still do. He believed buying an umbrella is an insult to the benevolent sky. Under the rain, he looked like the messiah preaching his own gospel of wisdom and experience to me. I worshiped the man, believing his unmatched lessons would lead me on the right path to be a better human being.

There was this gorgeous walking trail near our house where we would often go together. Some people used this path to drive to their farms and gardens, while there was another track for cars. It was lined with fruit trees and flowers, a perfect resort to commune with nature and soothe the blues of one’s hectic life. Even though my parents were always worried about me, fearing that I would catch a cold, I loved the rain and, of course, taking a walk with my grandpa.

It was a lovely spring afternoon when it started to rain. My grandpa winked at me, quite sure his student knew what he meant. The next moment, we were out on the walking trail, with me perfectly prepared for another lesson from the sage. He started telling me a story about the past, which I loved so much. We were talking and laughing when all of a sudden a car came out of nowhere. It went past us, splashing mud all over my grandpa and me.

There were some young men in the car, and I could hear them laughing and making fun of us without even stopping to apologize for their inappropriate behavior. I was furious and shocked, wishing to follow them, pull them out of the car, and beat them black and blue. I looked at my grandpa and said, ‘Did you see that?’

He was standing there, looking quite composed and smiling. He said, ‘Sure, I did. Let’s go, buddy. We have a lot to talk about today.’

The car was gone, but I was still standing in the middle of the road, swearing at the driver and everything. ‘Come on, son.’ he said. ‘They’re gone. Forget it.’

‘Forget it?!’ I said, ‘Look at us. We’re all covered in mud. They ruined our day.’

‘We look perfect.’ he said, ‘and they can never ruin our day unless we allow them to.’

‘They just did. Can’t you see, grandpa?’ I reacted.

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