Thursday, October 13, 2005

the rain

It hasn’t rained in Madrid for quite some time now. Even as long ago as August you may have seen in the news the images of cracked dirt around Spain, brittle but hard. Because of that, some time ago we were given tips concerning the conservation of water in our homes. The advice included things like lowering the water level on the fill tank in one’s toilet. Then the other day, I received a notice from our neighborhood council that gave the order to completely cease all watering of gardens. The paper instructed us that even the “common” gardens (those areas of our neighborhood that are shared by all residents) were no longer being watered.

I suspect our sicknesses last week may have had something to do with the lack of rain. I don’t think this is “good science”, but I heard someone say that the little “sick bugs” in the air needed to be washed away with water from on high (and that’s why there were so many people getting ill). At any rate, I for one got sick of these drought conditions. Please God, send the rain.

But, just the other night (on Sunday) it started sprinkling. Then, Sunday’s spit turned into a downpour on Monday. After walking from the metro to community group that night, my trousers were soaked from the knees down. My shoes evolved into flippers and even the back of my shirt was drenched, despite having used an umbrella. The rain behaved as if it was intent on blowing through my soul. And despite the physical discomfort of the windy pelting that night, I couldn’t help but smile. The rain had accomplished its mission.

It is now 4:38 in the morning on Thursday and Heather is on the ground in Madrid once again. The rain has come. And who could sleep through an occasion that’s so momentous? Her voice is like the patter on my bedroom window pane during a dark night’s persistent howl. Her face, her smile, her eyes, her skin fill in the cracked edges of my life. There’s no escape from the sky’s fingers. Her arms encircle me. I hear her laugh and my spirit is revived. Her soul blows through mine. Her arrival this dark morning is like waking to a kiss. And her kiss is soft rain.

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