Millions of pebbles hitting the roof – that’s the sound rain makes when it pelts the roof of the school building. Outside, through the window, the rain is almost-white like a sheet of unfurled cloth. It’s the rainy season in Indonesia until February I was told.
I dreaded the rain when I was little. I hated getting wet, for one, because I got the sniffles easily, which still happens to me to this day. Second reason, rain meant staying at home. Heavy rains in Manila meant classes or any jaunt cancelled because of the flooding that normally follows. But after watching the live footage on TV of the flooded streets that reached almost waist up, you’d thank the stars that you didn’t venture out of the house.
I don’t hate the rain that much anymore. Maybe my former colleague’s positive reading of the rain rubbed off on me. She was a receptionist in this company I used to work for in Singapore. She’d always say “That means more water for us!” with a smile and a greeting to me. My other colleagues saw it as a blessing, an auspicious blessing. In the Garden City, one could go about his or her business (read: go out and meet friends etc) through the pouring rain. But recently, rains augured heavy flooding, which was unheard of in the past years in Singapore. One time a nursery in a part of town was completely submerged causing the owner to lose all his plants as well as potential revenue of millions of dollars.
I saw rain, apart from the answer to drought, as a chance to meditate, to look out for the signs from the universe of the path I’m suppose to traverse. I loved the rain for that opportunity and that it kept the plants I had before green. There’s nothing like rain water for new leaves and new buds to sprout!
I’m ambivalent about rain in Indonesia. I’m pleased that my pied-à-terre is cooled after a rainy spell so I don’t need to switch on the air conditioning unit or the fan. No water shortage because the water dams are full to the brim and it’s the perfect time to have a mug of piping hot tea and buckle down to reading or contemplating my life moves. On the downside, the legendary Indonesian traffic jam is absolutely infuriating to be stuck in! And not all areas of Indonesia are paved so imagine treading on mucky roads or, worse, walking and getting splattered by mud and water. Going to the wet market is not a pleasant experience either and my Internet connection goes haywire during and after the rains.
The rains are here again. I wonder if a centaur is half way through his wedding ceremony. That was what a classmate in elementary told me.