The First Rain

The first rain of the season sweeps across the world. The leaves rustle on the trees, the air thickens, the sky changes ccolor. The bright blue fades to a deep steel grey at the horizon, and you know that the rains are on their way. The rainy season approaches.

Thunder shakes the top of my hut as the wind speeds up outside. It surrounds me, the noise digging deep into my bones; I shake with surprise at the sound and creep outside to look in the direction it came from. Above me the sky is still blue, beautiful, sunny, but to the south the darkness looms, frightens all in reach: the storm is coming fast.

And as the wind speeds up, the air cools down, the clouds run across the sky and all of a sudden it is covered. Drops come down, one after another, slowly slowly slowly then all of a sudden fast. Big drops widely spaces, ones fat with the moisture they have been saving up all dry season, saving for this chance. And the wind speeds up again, shakes the roof of my hut, spins the straw above me. Pieces come down around me as the wind and rain knock against the outside and rustle pieces of the thatch and dust down from the roof and onto my floor and the rain keeps beating on.

I crawl into my bed, I curl up against the corner of the wall. The thunder beats on outside, the drumming so loud it seems like it is next to me: I forget how intense these storms can be. I forgot how scary they can seem. I put on music, I read my book, I go outside to look at the rain. The world is quiet again, no talking or shouting, no kids running wild. Just the sounds of the storm deafening out everything else in the world.

There is nothing left but the storm. The sounds of the storm, the slap of the rain, the rush of the wind, the crash of the thunder around me. It is hypnotic in its own way, the way the world changes with just the coming of the storm. It is calming, too, in its own intense way. I can think of the rain and the rain only. I curl a little deeper against the corner, waiting, wondering if it will last, if this feeling will stay for a little while longer.

And as soon as it came, it is gone again. A few hours later and I am stepping into the now cooled air. The heat has been chased away, the sand on the ground has been packed back down, the land looks a little more alive.

The rain comes with one other rain a day later, and then nothing. It is early in the season still: the rainy season isn’t supposed to start until the end of October, so this is just a teaser. An indicator of what is to come. It’s not surprising for the rain to start so early up here; it is simply disappointing when it leaves again.

In the following days the area starts to turn green again. The trees look alive, the grass starts to return. The burnt fields feel the rain and start to regrow, green stalks popping up overnight, ferns unfolding in my yard. The world is still brown, but not so much as before.

And in another day the world is hot again, dry again; the hot season has returned, has reclaimed its turf. The nights are getting cooler again, but the rain doesn’t return. It will, though. It will in its own time, when it is ready.

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