Send us the rain.

Bali became my home in 1999 for a thousand reasons. I try to remember them, but sometimes the commitments of life get in the way. My complacency doesn’t last long as one of the reasons jumps out at me, gives me a gentle shake and reminds me to smell the roses. Actually, yesterday it told me to smell wet earth, ozone, and the freshness brought on by a tropical down pour.

Nearly five months we’ve gone without rain. Yes, it was the dry season, but we’re used to getting a few storms in that time. Not this year. The landscape browned and dried, thirsting for a good drink.  Temperatures soared as we awaited the wet season. People spoke of climate change, punishment for overtaxing Bali, the El Nino effect, forest fires in Kalimantan, and the latest volcanic eruption in Lombok. Reasons were sought and blame attributed, all to no avail; it still didn’t rain. Therometers held their mercury high.

Clouds built up, teasing us, making us believe that rain would fall, only to disappear, without granting our wishes.

Last night I dined with friends at Element Restaurant in Penestanan. The sky was dark with clouds in the late afternoon, but they circled around us, dropping nothing. In the dark they reformed and at 8pm the skies opened and sheets of rain fell and kept on falling. The drought had broken. We stopped eating and drinking, preferring to stare out at the rain and the street that was fast becoming a river.

For two hours, our patience that had withstood 5 months of dry was rewarded and for the visually impaired, lightning and thunder were added to ensure the first downpour of the wet season was not missed.

wet season

Bayu rang at ten to see if we were still dining at the opposition. “Will I bring umbrellas?”

Ten minutes later he arrived with an umbrella for each of us and we opened our protection and waded home enjoying the start of what I hope will be five months of rain.

Bali is my home for a multitude of reasons and I wonder which one will provide my next reminder.

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