A rainy Sunday reverie

Late yesterday afternoon I was watering one of my garden beds, a chore which four months into the relentless dry season, challenged my patience and optimism.

Surely, in six weeks or so—I said to myself—the rainy season will jolt the plants out of their brownish stupor and the ranch will bloom again.

After a light dinner and some mindless channel surfing, we settled on a Netflix documentary about the international natural-rubber industry, centered mostly in Southeast Asia. It was far more interesting than it sounds.

Over drinks, in a veranda with a corrugated-tin roof, an Indonesian plantation owner groused about plummeting world prices for rubber and the dim prospects for the industry.

What caught my attention, though, was the torrential rain in the background, a curtain of water so dense you could barely make out what laid a meter beyond the edge of the roof. 

“If we could just get a couple of monsoon days like that, we’d be all set,” I said to Stew, wistfully.

Then we heard a tentative rat-tat-tat of rain drops hitting our terrace, and which quickly accelerated into a credible downpour. Rain! And along with it, a gentle, wet-smelling breeze blowing through the house, rousting the curtains.

“This is real rain,” Stew said, as he got up to close the windows in the bedroom.

With my mind soaked by the rain in Indonesia and on our porch, I went to bed, and to a long, and not particularly reassuring dream—about rain.

I dreamed that Stew and I had beautifully renovated a house somewhere, but then it had started to rain furiously outside, and also inside, through a hundred leaks. We frantically tried to stop the leaks with towels, buckets and newspapers, to no avail. The wooden floor boards warped and separated, revealing an impenetrably dark space below. Mold crept up the walls, soon enveloping the interior.

This morning at six-thirty or so, our cat Fifo woke me up with his usual feed-me-right-now meowing.

I don’t know how the dream ended.

When I went outside, the rain gauge indeed showed, hmm, maybe a quarter-inch of rain had fallen overnight. The landscape was wet and the mountains hidden behind a fluffy, foggy blanket. Small cobwebs had started to settle on the tops of the knee-high weeds. Rainwater puddled in the fold of some of the agaves’ leaves.

Of course, by lunchtime the landscape had returned to its normal sere self.

But as Félix, ever the optimist, once told me, “At least it hasn’t forgotten how to rain.”

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