A Welcome Rain

It would seem that all life has come to a standstill in this drab parsed land we call the flats. There are no trees, just dust. No water lets, just empty, dry barren dirt that once flourished with green effervescence. The cracked thirsty earth stretches as far as my weak eyes can see, and without the full strength of the sun, this distance is spanned twice over by the sounds of the howling wind. Clinging to my thread-bare bag and its dwindling contents of basic sustenance, I grit my teeth against the dry wind, my lips chapped and burning, and my eyes fiery red from the dry dust. Ahead lies what looks to be a tower, but only its silhouette present against the dark red sun. My feet like broken pendulums, I trudge up the rocky trail, shadowed by the dark, lurking precipices high above. I can see only that which is just ahead of me now, and it’s finally getting dark.

The sounds of the wind seem to be backing down ever so slightly. As I glimpse at the trek that lies ahead, the sun says its final words and melts beyond the desert landscape, big as a world in the sky. With darkness rolling in, all sound and motion suddenly ceases. I can hear nothing now but my dry raspy breath, and the beating of my tired heart.

Without warning, a stinging cold drop shocked the back of my hot dry hand. Then another on my forehead, as I looked into the utter blackness of the night sky above. And one after another, relief was spelled out as the hard drops hit the heat of the earth I stood on. Steam and sound fizzled out from beneath the dust as each cold drop stood on its back. Then, as if the very fabric of the sky were torn asunder, it all came down.

All at once, the wave of hard rain came pouring in like a giant ship had been overturned above me. The purest, coolest, most crystal clear water I had ever been aware of drenched me instantaneously from head to toe. Relief had been a precious but fleeting wish from my dying parched throat. But now it was here. And I was bathed in it.

I lay on my face in the flood that covered the entire expanse of the flats, drinking of its cleansing revival. I felt the strength pouring through my veins once again, as the liquid hope replenished my lungs, my mind, my soul. I could do nothing but let it pour onto me and let it wash away the pain and dirt that had made my eyes its home. And as the pools I lay in slowly soaked into the thirsting land, and the hard torrential downpour slowly subsided, I sunk my eyes into what was to be a long slumber. But before I was enveloped by the oblivion of my sleep, I saw out of the corner of my eye, a speck of life.

A tiny dot of hope in a huge pit of sorrow and pain. Only the truest of optimists would see this as a life-bearing organism. The hint of a whisper and the fragile wings of a dove carried her message betwixt the air itself, and delivery was an absolution. She was heard. And being the bearer of my news, I was to awaken no more. For I had heard my name. And then, as surely as I had seen her approach, the wind carried the darkness about and through her. And she vanished on the dampened reality that I call my home.

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