I lay in bed this morning, warm and dry, listening to the sound of rain. As I drank my morning tonic of fresh squeezed juice from my lemon tree, with grated ginger and vanilla-infused honey from the farmers’ market, rain pattered against my kitchen window. Then I got in the car to go to yoga class. On the way, it rained. And rained. And rained some more, harder and harder. About half a mile short of the yoga sanctuary, I had to pull over and stop because I could no longer see the road. My sweet little Honda did its best but its wipers were no match for the pelting precipitation. The radio warned of flash floods. I really wanted to zen out at the sanctuary, but my instincts told me to turn tail and flee. I did.
Once I got home and it was too late to go to class, the rain stopped and the sky cleared. I put on my gardening boots and hat. And then, glory be, it started to rain. I sat at the table and watched dripping palm fronds wave in the breeze. Then a couple of ducks swam down my street, nodding and winking as they bobbed in the gentle current, raising their orange bills toward the sky, aglow with pleasure from the water coursing down their supple white throats. Then Noah sailed past my window in a kayak, his damp beard twinkling with droplets of rain. Sea turtles frolicked around him as he dipped paddle, left and right, left and right. The movement lulled me into a mid-morning nap. I dreamed of taking a bubble bath with Ernie and Rubber Ducky.
I survived 32 rainy seasons in Tokyo. Some, like this year, lasted only a few weeks; others went on and on. I remember one year when the rain started in March and didn’t stop until October. The cost of lettuce rose to over $10. We survived on imported cabbage and broccoli. I still can’t look at broccoli without cringing. Cabbage and I have never really made up, not really.
Vegetable wars aside, it was all tolerable, predictable in its unpredictability, familiar at least. This hurricane thing, though, is new, and woke the muse.
Of typhoons, I’ve survived a few
With lashing rains and winds that blew.
Windows rattled, walls did shake
But clear skies shone when I’d awake.
This island weather, though, is new
And titillates despite the view
Of greenery rich and flowers strange.
All new experiences, beyond the range
Of what I know, my comfort zone
A different touch, a different tone.
I think I’ll learn to love it here
Despite the mold behind my ear
And prune-like fingers, kinky hair.
I promise I will not despair
But fungus grows and starts to itch.
I’ll tell you something; Lane’s a bitch.