Well in all my time in Iraq I had hope against hope that I might see one. Often throughout the deployment the wind would pick up and the sky was turn a hesitant purple and I would pray that the storm would get angry enough to burst but it never did.
Last night I could smell it in the air. Normally Iraq has a burnt, chalky smell that gets stuck in your throat. To me, it does not smell like life. No hint of grass or flowers or water, only a charred earthen smell. But as I went to work last night I could smell the rain in the air. The wind was blowing pretty fiercely, tearing through the palm trees and sounding surprisingly like rain I yearned for. When I got to the office I opened the window right behind me and that scent of rain was overpowering. I could practically taste it, that pure, clean smell of moisture. My entire shift I kept sticking my head out the window and inhaling as deep as possible, turning to my co-worker (who was watching me like I had escaped off the reservation) and saying "I just know it's going to rain, I can FEEL it".
Well by the time I left at 2:00am the wind had died down and the sky appeared to be clearing and as with all my past disappointments, I figured the storm just couldn't muster enough to break free.
Boy was I wrong. Around 11:00am this morning I was awoken to huge booms and a rapid pelting sound that had my heart racing. Gun-fire and mortars. In my confusion I lay still trying to decide if I should get dressed and find a bunker or if I was safer where I was. However, as full alertness was registering I realized that something was actually hitting the roof of my CHU. So I opened my curtain...and there it was. An angry gray sky hurtling succulent, plump rain drops over the dessert. The smell was over powering-- of life and health and growth seeping it's way into the barren ground. Beautiful.