The Blessing of Rain

Dick Richards at Come Gather ‘Round (also known as wrote a post today called A Ramble Through Fire about our personal inner fires; He says “a cerebral blaze” was touched off in him by my recent description of our wildfire here on The Big Island.

I added a comment there for him, and then I decided I’d post it here for all of you too, for so many of you have been exceptionally kind and concerned for us, and I sincerely want you to know that all is well ” I’m turning into the best housekeeper I’ve ever been, and we are feeling very loved by our island home.

Aloha Dick,

When I read your post just now I had to share with you what today has been for us here on the Big Island. Nature is ready to move on to her new beginnings.

Since the fire, it has been hot and humid, very dry, and very windy. Final assessments, as readily evidenced by the edges of the black charred landscape, show that the fire came within 50 feet of many homes on the edge of our village, and their walls still show the streaking of the brackish water pulled from a neighboring golf course by skilled helicopter pilots to douse the advancing flames.

Homes in Hawaii are rarely heated or air-conditioned; many are still made with single-walled construction and screened windows with wooden louvers let in the breezes, especially now during the summer, where August and September always mark our hottest days. So we’ve put up with the relentless onslaught of ash and soot still blowing into our homes, and vacuums rhythmically buzz about their work two or three times a day in rooms which receive the mauka (from the mountainside) winds first.

Then this afternoon, something happened that I know you also experience there in Arizona despite the summer heat: The skies opened up and the rain finally came down. And not a tentative shy drizzle; a hard-driving, sudden downpour that had rivers running in the streets within short minutes, for the ground was unprepared and unable to soak it in.

School had let out, and the kids were just getting home, and up and down my street doors were opening as people came outside and started to play in the rain, laughing and loving every drop. The kids do it in the summer rain all the time, but I can’t remember the last time I saw adults joining in so gleefully. We became happy neighbors enjoying each other’s company again, not the anxious ones who had taken turns hosing down the red-orange embers we were still finding the day after the blaze. Now we gladly hosed down the muddy kids.

As I write this it is early evening and the rain has continued to fall, although now a bit more gently. However the rain is constant, and occasionally we hear the low rumbling of thunder, “someone bowling in heaven” as my grandma used to say. I’ve gone back outside twice more: once to pull the water trays out from under the container gardens on our porch; the plants were beginning to swim in them. The second time just because being outside was so irresistible. Everything is looking so fabulously wet, fresh and clean. Whatever green you do see seems to be a shade brighter, and we all feel so wonderfully refreshed. We are glowing, and I daresay it is the same glow you have attributed to the life force of fire. Yet ours has come from the rain, our liquid aloha from heaven.

It is wonderful to be loved by Mother Nature, no matter how careless we have been, for yes, the prevailing belief is that the fire was started by someone’s negligence. We’ve taken our comfort saying, “well, at least it wasn’t intentional.”

Ka lā hiki ola: it is the dawning of a new day.