18 September, 2009

Rain, Rain, Come Again!!

So the rainy season is starting!!! It is very exciting for me. I love the rain! I remember growing up on the ranch - it rained almost every afternoon like clockwork. And you just knew it was coming and planned for it. It never lasted that long - never long enough to ruin your day (though one evening after a peculiarly bad storm we did get a fun game of mud football going, but we'll save that for a later day!). One afternoon my cousin and I were looking at the sky, knowing it was going to rain heavier than normal. I suggested we go swimming - but you can't go swimming when there is lightening - so after we narrowed down our other options we decided to go for a hike.

And we got drenched - we could have showered in how heavy it was raining! And it wasn't until we were hiking back, soaked to the bone, hair plastered to our head, clothes sagging off our bodies, that we thought, "Why did we think this was a good idea?" But by then we were laughing to hard and loving it so much we didn't really care. The picture we took afterwords to document our expedition still makes me smile.

I love to play in the rain. When it rains I want to go stand in it, jump in it, run around in it. At work in DC when it rained I had to resist the urge to run outside, realizing my boss probably would not understand my childlike adoration of the weather and that my sitting at my desk drenched might have been enough to convince him I had no business working there. But it did make me stand at the window and watch longingly for a few moments. I remember flirting with a boy in college in the rain - now that was fun.

But I digress.

You can most times tell when it is going to rain here. The trees outside start blowing - looking like the Santa Ana winds in California - then the sky gets all dark and it starts to pour. The drops hit the tin roof and start their symphony.

Or it can be totally sunny out, not a cloud in the sky - and that is when the torrents come! It rains so hard that even with my speakers on full volume the songs seem like whispers and I think maybe I should find Noah and beg for a place on the ark. It's so great because during those rains everyone scurries outside to pull clothes off the line, move things inside, dash off the streets.

But you can't see the rain. I run to my window almost every time (almost) and look outside - but I can't see the rain. I can see the puddles on the ground, the streams running through the mud. I can hear it on the roof, but I can't watch the rain. So I close my eyes and bite my lip and try not to grin as the sound takes over the house. Occasionally someone runs outside - but beyond that it's just the sound of drops on the roof.

I love what rain symbolizes - it washes away things, it move things along on their journey, nothing is the same after the rain. It can bring destruction, it can bring hope and life. God used rain to clear the earth, He withheld it during Israel's rebellions, but He also sent it in times of repentance. Without rain there are no rainbows. Without rain everything dies. We need water to live, our bodies need it, crops need it, our ecosystem depends on it. It's one of those things we take for granted and yet automatically realize when it's gone. You either love it or you hate it. It can ruin weddings and play dates and keep people cooped up inside. It can stop baseball games and make football that much more fun. You can look at it and feel depressed or you can look at it as the chance to start again. The earth pauses when it rains and slowly crawls out from the shelters when it ends. Rain has the power to purify, to cleanse, to start again. Maybe that's why I love being in it so much - I can close my eyes and turn my focus upward and remember that I have been made new in Him.

And as quickly as it comes - it ends. The storm stops, the sky clears and you wonder ten minutes later if it rained at all. Did we almost float away - or was it my imagination? Were the backyards empty and deserted, looking uninhabited for years, or was that just in my head? Did the streets actually clear of all the people who lean in doorways and congregate outside mini stores and walk through town at 2pm - where did they all go? And how did they get back so soon?