When it rains here, the air remains stolid--as unmovable as my mother's political leanings, as heavy as our dwindling numbers on my heart. The rain here is accompanied by the kind of thunder that I once thought was surely the anger of an Old Testament god and the drops the blood of his legions. The rain here, I am told, is not of its own volition but the moods of ocean, rivers, and bay. I am told that the rain is not the rain but a symptom of a collusion of this land and this water. There is a proper name for everything no matter where your feet touch the earth.
Here the rain is not the rain. It is the storm.
I am to check the basement to be sure the pump is working. To make sure the storm has not attempted to retake its floodplain. To be sure the house built on sand remains upright. I am to remind the pump of its one purpose--to eludicate the earth. Moreover, when the rain has gone for days and days, I am to fit the second pump before encouraging the water back out to the road.
And I can count my gratitude like this: It has not rained for more than two days in a row here. I am no longer a waitress. I still remember my subject. Mangos are large and plentiful and fresh figs easily picked. I know the taste of a fresh fig. I do not break bread alone. And I can count fewer days than books my eyes have finished. And I am smart enough to learn to unpick the convoluted road between here and next year.