And the River Rises

The hot sun, more focused and potent than ever. “Un sol de lluvia,” he tells me: A rain sun. The suffocating humidity. The slow drip of sweat. A tired hand raised to wipe it away. The smell of fried fish that fills the room and the sound of quiet, satisfied conversation. The incoming, impenetrable darkness of the rolling clouds and the first few drops of rain. The tingle of the tin roof as they fall. The silence. The calm. The anticipation…

The sudden fury.

The clouds, like a scorned lover, shed their tears all at once. The tingle of the tin gives way to a powerful roar as the full weight of the sky falls upon it. The raised voices competing to be heard over the torrent. The resigned faces, the closed mouths and the postponed conversations of those bested by nature.

And the river rises.

The view of the seemingly infinite green hills, testaments to nature’s beauty across the river, distorted and obscured by the increasingly dense wall of falling rain. The cries of a little boy, scared of the display of force that overwhelms his senses. The cries of an older boy as he grabs his ball and runs outside, delighted at the same display of force and the opportunity it gives him to pit his strength and his youth against it. Mother Nature, a worthy adversary. The thick red mud that clings to his black skin.

And the river rises.

The thunder, loud like the cannons of war. The involuntary skip of a heartbeat as the sound dominates the body. The flash of lightning. The jungle trees illuminated against the ominous sky. The boys, defying the world to give them everything it can muster, still kick their ball. The faces of the players now caked in red mud. The frantic scramble as water seeps into the house. The same scene played out in other homes as the deluge continues to pummel the isolated village. The attempts at diverting the flow and mopping up the water will undoubtedly be well practiced by the end.

And still the river rises. And it will continue to rise as the rain, impervious to day’s transition into night and night’s subsequent transition into day, falls and falls and falls. The river has risen. It is at the doorstep. The rainy season is here.

And the river rises.

7 thoughts on “And the River Rises

  1. Carlos, I love this description, it reminds me of when I was a school girl back in Zimbabwe anticipating a storm, playing in the rain and having the sound of the raindrops soothe you to sleep. Good memories.

  2. Pingback: I Am Because We Are | Homeward Bound

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