Monday, June 1, 2009

a couple things i noticed

Sunday morning we had a really bad storm. i would have called it a monsoon, but have been told those haven't really hit yet. Whatever it was, there was enough water to fill up our balcony and pour into our living room. soaking the rugs.

anna and i woke up around 10am to the sound of the wind whirling and twirling. the sky opening to shoot needles of rain down upon us. the windows smacking the walls as they opened and closed. the power going out. it was all so exciting.

The streets were flooded, and so was our house. so instead of cleaning, Anna and I danced outside in our pjs (forgoing our modesty cloaks) to take pictures. A slight drizzle and crisp cold breeze (not 'cool', but actually 'cold') nudged us to run back inside to get some sweaters. a sweater on a cold april morning is a great idea.

For about 3 minutes, if i had closed my eyes and started hallucinating, i could have believed myself back to seattle...i think i hear the 73 pulling up...ahhhh.

Now, please stay with me here...

In elementary school you learn about our solar system. We studied about the planets and their personalities, the sun, and lies like how i could expect to be living on the moon by the year 2020. Thanks Mrs. Whitsel, maybe i can retire there. How nouveau of me.

As far as the planets go, i remember the basics. For example: Mars talks a lot of smack and gets noticed for it even though it still hasn't proven it has water. It does however house Mt. Olympus and some polar ice caps. Jupiter is large and in charge and is always in a bad mood, which it rightfully should be. If i had a massive gravitational pull, electrical discharges, a permanent Red Spot - and was known for being the gassiest planet- i would be a sourpuss as well. Pluto is unfortunately having an identity crisis. Yes it's in a funk, but there is a lot of moxie left in that little lump of a planet. It would suck to stand at the back of the line for that long - only to be denied entry. I am not giving up on Pluto, and it will always be a planet in my eyes- i am expecting big things.

The sun was definitely a topic of disappointment. Turns out the sun isn't a big deal after all, its just a plain old star. A plain old star with a life span in fact. A LIFE SPAN, like a beginning-middle-and end. And in the end, like all ends, they burn out and die. The eventual dying part stuck with me of course. What child plans for the sun to DIE? So, uh Mrs. Whitsel, what happens when there is no sun? Doesn't that mean there will be no light? Um, yes elizabeth, that is correct. No light? So, the plants will all die then right?! Well yes, elizabeth. So, if there is no sun and no light, then there can be no photosynthesis - and no oxygen - and no life on earth...RIGHT!??! Um, yes elizabeth...but that of course won't happen for billions of years....ok?

[Obviously my personal anxiety issues slash serious worry for the minute wasn't just the unflattering phase of my 20s. Thank God. I had it when I was 8. What a relief.]

Well no Mrs. Whitsel that wasn't ok. Since I realized i couldn't rely on the solar system to ensure my existence, I would have to take matters into my own hands. I remember going home that day collecting all of mom's empty jars, retrieving the shovel from the garage, digging a hole in the flower bed, filling each jar to the brim with air -sealing the lids tightly- and burying all 6 of them. There you go stupid sun...i made sure we will have enough air even after your demise. The sun can suck it.

Never before has that last statement been so true. And oh how i feel its truth. There is a reason they tell foreigners to not come here in the summer. There is a reason people. Never before had i fully understood its immense power. its heat. our reliance. its unapologetic domination of my daily routine. incredible. whether i like it or not. the sun - and its abilities- aren't going anywhere.

but enough of stupid sun, back to the glorious rain.
ahhhhh the i miss you....

thank God for the storm. the rain cooled off the scorching dusty earth (got up to 117 the other day), healed the dry and cracked ground, the grit being blown about was kept at bay, silenced the painful croaking of the heat exhausted animals, and efficiently pressure washed every surface, every angle, every dusty pile.

i stood outside watching children play in the flooded streets, the animals contently lounging in their newly found cleanliness. the plants a bit greener. the homes a bit whiter. the trash swept away by the rush of water. a blanket salve had been applied in cracks and crevices, all that wicked dust and grit contained, the water muffling sounds that were much quicker to escape before. everything had been put back together. colors a bit more vivid, a little healthier, a smidge more manageable. a soothing pause punctuated this magnificent moment.

For the first time, i felt like lounging. the possibility of having a 'rainy sunday' in real sweatpants, a cup of peppermint tea, my water colors, and some Grey's Anatomy..... i welcomed it back like an old friend. the type that no matter how long they were gone, you pick up right where you left off without missing a step.

each day i find these moments for myself. these little treasures scattered throughout this landscape. some more peaceful than others. some more telling than others. whether its watching shy village children turn bold...coming to grips with the cold truth that anna is a fan of Star Treck...realizing how long a cow's tongue is, as you watch it struggle to snatch the last leaf off some poor excuse for a tree...seeing happy street dogs excited to see you...figuring out that Deepmala is using my shampoo...catching the rickshaw driver crack a smile at the site of 3 american girls laughing at each other in the back pronouncing my name 'elijabit' so that it sounds like 'illegitimate'... a thick mess of sweat forming on my upper lip, pre and post 11pm bucket bath...the smell of the next storm which can't come soon enough...the joy which is 1 kilo of lychee...hearing the neighborhood children call you didi.

these are things i have found so far. i can't wait to find more.

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