When I was davening this morning, I was well-aware of the earthquake that had hit Japan and I was well-aware of our fragile existence. I had been exercising while listening to the reports of the damage there and the impending tsunami all along the Pacific rim. How lucky, I could have said, that we live in the northeast, where we do have hurricanes and blizzards and ice dams and flooding, but they are relatively mild. But I realized that that is a false luck, since who knows what is down the road for any of us?
And that’s when I became aware of the rain.
Our house, thank G-d, is pretty quiet, well-insulated. We live on a side street in a quiet neighborhood. The noisiest times are when the kids and some parents are walking to and from the elementary school down the block, so not so bad, pretty much. I am a country mouse, for sure, and I have to keep that in mind when we look for a place to live in Israel, down the road not so far…
But we do have a few spots that take on noise of the elements. Sitting now in the study, for example, and hearing the rain on the skylight. Similarly in our breakfast room (“back room”–it also houses the washer-dryer, coat closet, functions as a hallway, and is as big as that for some larger homes, but it works for us), I’ve always enjoyed looking up through the skylight to watch the sky, in the day or at night.
And the one in particular today is the living room, since we have a large ancient air conditioning unit (which we inherited from our D#1’s old apartment, and really it must be so completely uneconomical to run but…), so large that it makes it unwieldy to take down for the winter months, as we do for all the other room units. And so if you want to know how hard it’s raining, you can go into the living room and listen for the intensity of the drops hitting on the unit for an accurate assessment. This morning, in particular, the rain started building in intensity. And I was struck by the rhythm and the connection of the rain of the oncoming tsunami and here in my little corner of the universe. Because we’re all in it together.
And I heard the taiko beat of the rains.