There is something comfortable about
rainfall. The steady drip of a leaky gutter, a downpour in the middle of the night.
It is familiar; it is unchanging. Rain is a constant here in Oregon and it wasn’t
uncommon where I lived in Ecuador. In Imbabura, the rain usually comes in the
night, settling the dust of the day before and allowing for a fresh start.
I love rain. I love everything about
it, the feel, the smell, the nourishment it brings. I'm fascinated by how you can lose yourself in the sound of it. If I focus
hard enough on the sound of the rain, the feeling of my legs between the sheets,
and the heaviness of my eyelids, I can, for a second, transport somewhere else.
I can smell the alpaca wool blankets I long to be cuddled up in. I can, just
barely, hear the bark of a neighborhood dog followed by a distant “¡Cállate!” I can
make out the low hum of the T.V. coming from Danny and Vero’s room. I can feel
the cold air on my face and I sink into my mattress, exhausted from a day of
teaching and speaking in a language I am still learning. If I focus hard enough
on the sound of the rain, for just a moment, I can find myself tucked in bed in
the Almeida home in Imbabura, Ecuador.
When I lose concentration, I am
whisked back to reality. I’m in my bed in Oregon. My blankets don’t at all resemble
the alpaca wool ones and my pillow feels much different. Besides the sound of
the rain, the neighborhood is silent. Deafeningly silent. The air is quite chilly,
because I sleep with all my windows wide open in hopes of mimicking the feel of
the cool Andean night. It is clear that I am very far from Imbabura. During
these moments of harsh realization, I send positive thoughts to my community in
Imbabura, my friends and family, my volcano. I thank Pachamama for bringing
this rainfall and I anxiously await the next one to transport me back to Imbabura.