Friday, October 06, 2006

That Explains Everything

It began slowly. The only thing signifying the fact that it was anything more than a light drizzle was the slow solidification of the air as it took in the unceasing moisture dusting through the sky. The clouds hung heavy upon the hills that surrounded the fields of harvested rice, settling themselves for a long stay over the land.

Slate grey sure is ugly… I always forget just how monochromatic the world looks without the foil of bright blue stretching endlessly overhead.

5 days ago we asked long-time residents of our town if we were experiencing a typhoon. “No,” they replied, “it’s just a little bit of rain.”

4 days ago we asked other people the same question. The reply was always the same- “No no no, you are mistaken. It’s not a typhoon, and most certainly not the rainy season.” It might just be me, but it seems a little silly to assign the title ‘rainy season’ to a pre-determined month instead of the time of year rain actually begins to disrupt daily life. I can’t remember it ever raining without cease for so long in June.

This line of questioning and the subsequent answers continued up until today. Today was different. Sometime during the night the winds came howling and clawing their way from the south to join in the cacophony of sound the rain made, and is still making, as it dashed against the window shutters. It’s different than thunder- the wonder at the ferocity of sonance is still there, but stops just before crossing the threshold to enjoyment. I like thunderstorms, but the low, menacing growl of its cousin that refuses to cease for a moment soon becomes a background noise uneasily ignored, punctuated by the random shuddering of doors within the house.

In fact, I refused to open the shutters, which is unusual considering my dislike of feeling boxed in when there’s no light filtering through the windows. Kissing my husband goodbye as he braved the elements to go to work, I watched as he engaged in an impromptu tugging match with the powerful gusts that attempted to wrest his umbrella from his hands. I briefly wondered what the teachers would say today to the inevitable question.

I received my answer sooner than expected. For some reason, lunch had been canceled at Ash’s school for the day and he was given leave to go ‘study at home’. I eagerly awaited the news, and it wasn’t too long before he was stumbling through the door, thanks to the gusts he made friends with in the morning shoving at his back.

“So, did they finally upgrade this…” I waved my hand in the general direction of the rain-soaked concrete outside, “… to an honest-to-goodness typhoon?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I asked Tau-sensei about it. She said it was definitely a typhoon.” We shared a smile of triumph, always knowing what it truly was, but it was still nice to finally hear some confirmation. He continued to shrug out of his damp jacket, paused for a moment, and then said in a voice tinged with laughter, “It wasn’t too long after that before she tilted her head to one side and said thoughtfully, ‘Actually, it’s two typhoons.’”

Ah. That explains everything.

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