Even more beautiful than the wind was the rain that followed. That is following.
I started to walk outside, my bag over my shoulder, my computer in my bag. I wanted to tell you guys about the storm. But I stopped a few steps later. The thunder rolled down the canyon, and threatened to burst on this tiny little town like an invisible, roaring devil, frightening people indoors, rumbling foundations. It was a very menacing sound, and it was everywhere. I ventured a step further, peeking out over the rail of the open, common balcony. My neighbor had just come out of his room, but something made him stop too. There was a strange energy in the air. The sky was lit up. Then the rain started.
It hit us in a wave, all at once. Now I understand the term “driving rain.” That were the words that came into my mind as it hit us full force, three floors up, covered by a balcony overhead. It paid no heed to these minor obstructions, and roared in at us with such force, we both took several huge, startled steps backwards. Even further back, well under cover, we got soaked. The rain drove in sideways, in sheets, and everything was soaked within moments. When I had finally backed up ten feet or more, the severity of the soaking ceased, and I was able to watch the storm in relative comfort, though dripping wet.
The invisible wind suddenly became visible as the rain danced on it, zig-zagging in huge sheets, smashing into itself, roaring down the river and into the sky. We watched a small dinghy float past- usually I pity those rafting parties because they float down the river like scallops getting baked, directly under the beating sun, with nothing to protect them but their silly plastic helmets. Today I pitied them because they were suddenly caught in a monsoon, and their paddles and helmets and boat looked so defenseless in the raging storm. Within moments of noticing that boat, it disappeared from sight completely, obscured by the massive gales of wind and rain like a colorful stroke on a canvas that has been obliterated by its fickle artist as he changes his mind and paints the whole thing gray.
Strangely, hail began to fall. Ten minutes earlier it was so sweltering, I had just taken my tenth shower of the day, and was lying under the fan hoping for relief. Now hail? But I will only thank the gods who sent this storm, because the wind blowing through my freshly opened windows is finally cool.