It was so strange that it rained…

In Brazil, to indicate surprise
we sometimes use the expression:

“Wow! I think it’s gonna rain!”

I don’t know why or how
this expression came to be.
The fact is that we use it
Even when it has nothing
to do with the weather
(something that really used to puzzle me
as a child
and still does).

Sometimes it’s an unexpected phone call.
Sometimes a long-promised visit.
Sometimes a spouse, sibling, child or the like
Who out of the blue
Decides to do the dishes.
Or make the bed.

On this first day of October
something extraordinary occurred.
It rained.
For the first time since May 29th.

Sunday had brought rumours
of brief scattered showers
here and there
just to make you want it more.
I myself didn’t see any
Nor did I believe anyone
Who said they’d seen.
The forecast was for the end of the month
Maybe mid-October
if we were lucky.

But as the evening fell on Monday
It was neither rumour nor scattered.
The whole sky came down
All at once
Including thunders and lightenings.

It was just like a quadrille
During the feast of St. Jean-Baptiste
One side of the street cried out:
“Look, it’s raining!”
And the other side replied:
“It cannot be!” 

In no time, everyone was staring
out of the window,
Thinking the rain much more thrilling
than the evening news
Children bounced up and down
Adults cried for joy
There were even fireworks
Pretending to be lightening and thunder
It was just like we had won
The World Cup Final 

And my father, who had always been hurt
whenever anyone referred to “rain”
as “bad” or “ugly” weather
admired, along with the rest of the city
the beauty of the storm,
the birthday present
he had desired the most.

The evening was more festive
than winning a Championship
More festive than a birthday party
Or the feast of St. Jean-Baptiste
It was the end of the winter
And the rain had conquered the drought

The feast was called “spring”
The party was called “rain”
The weather could not be more beautiful

It was a visit much waited for
A long needed shower
Cleasing and refreshing
Bodies, streets and souls.

It was Thanksgiving
and Thanksgetting

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