Saturday, 25 October 2008

The Thunder Rolls

I have been waiting for this day every since we arrived in this lifeless barren, dusty desert. Anyone of you who know me personally know I am sort of wild about thunderstorms. I love to dance in them, chase them down in my car, when I was little I used to drag blankets and stuffed animals out onto our porch to watch them roll in. At American University I used to climb up to top floor of the parking garage and sit on my car to watch the lightening. For me, there is no greater gift from nature.  They are good for the soul.

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.

1 comment:

Alice Yh said...

I remember for one of your birthdays we went to the beach and the storm was rolling in and your mom was concerned and wanted us to come out of the water but you were just loving it!! I was a bit scared but thought it was such an adrenaline rush!! I'll never forget that! =)