Thursday, October 21, 2010

When the Rain Falls

I think I have yet to truly experience Samoan rain, but I can tell you right now that it is nothing like Colorado rain. The rain always sneaks up on me. The clouds hardly ever look dark enough to hold water. At most they come in shades of off-white, I don’t think I’ve even seen fully gray clouds yet. They just hang over the sky, cooling everything off. So it rarely looks as if rain is coming, but it also never really sounds as if rain is coming. Sometimes it sounds like a noisy truck is driving down the street, but never gets where it’s going because the murmur hangs around. Mostly, though, it sounds like wind in the trees. After a super windy summer at camp, the rain always sounds like wind. Only after the sound doesn’t go away for a while do I look up, stare really hard, and figure out that it’s raining. It goes through phases, too. At the beginning, it’s nothing more than the whisper of wind. Then it gradually increases until it’s a steady, driving rain. Every once in a while, it reaches such an intensity that I can’t hear the person 10 feet away from me talking. When it starts to rain that hard, it feels as if the whole world is shaking and the sky is threatening to break through the roof. The rain in Samoa also feels different from the rain in Colorado. It’s soft. When it’s hardly spitting and you can still see the sun through the clouds, it’s not much more than a mist that you don’t notice until your clothes are slightly damp. Even when it really starts to rain, it still feels softer than the pelting rains we got at camp. The rain goes through a cycle. It hardly ever rains for more than a half hour straight, and usually if it rains once during the day, then it will rain again. Samoan rain seems to intrude less on my day than Colorado rain. I think I’ve already accepted that rain will be a regular part of life here, hardly more noticeable than doing the dishes or any other daily tasks. And to think, it’s not even the rainy season yet.

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