Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Rain in Las Marias

There are patterns and trends to these weather events. The rains roll in from roughly the same direction almost every day this time of the year, between the hours of 1 and 4pm. I'm better able to distinguish a shower from a deluge now as it is starting, though you can never know for sure. Often several pulses of showers signal; downpour imminent. Walk outside and you can feel the storm coming, see the sky darkening and the clouds seething, hear the thunder from afar, watch the lightning across the valleys.

We close the side door to keep water from pooling in the hallway, turn the knobs that tighten white metal hurricane-proof shutters, prepare for the water. Sometimes a false alarm, other times not; it is good to be prepared. You always know when a big one is underway, and there's not much to do but wait it out and enjoy. The heavy rains could last 5 minutes or 50, usually coming and going in spurts. Time slows down. I could be back in Ouagadougou.

Observe the movement of water over land: follow the splashes of individual drops into the cracks and tiny rivulets as they snake into channels with the others, and trace those to the main flood path that courses orange-brown, fast, ugly, down to the nearest creek and on, maybe to the Rio Guaba.

Large drops try in vain to pummel the banana leaves into submission but they persist, providing a bit of shelter to those who seek it. I heed the weather's pull, enjoy the refreshing mist pushed in under the porch roof, and relax. Tropical rain storms cleanse my soul.