They cancelled school today for it. I knew something was strange when there were no high schoolers waiting for the bus, no one but me. On the bus, I saw one of my recently graduated girls; she could only be heading home from school that morning, really. I got off the bus and mounted the stairs, looking up and down the road for the little clusters of uniformed kids with their yellow umbrellas or huge ponchos and saw not a child. The schoolyard was empty. Crap. I didn’t even bring my laptop cord.
But this o-ame is nothing to the one that happened about two days after I arrived here. I was baffled then, but I understand a little better now how big of a deal that was. Since then, the riverbanks have been reinforced, and the bridges have been rebuilt. The north had a rougher time of it, lots of property damage, and up in Sayo, even some loss of life. My parents, back then, mentioned hearing the name of our town on the news. I said, there must be some other place of the same name.
Today, it just feels like it’s been raining forever, because after Okinawa (post coming soon!), I’ve been swimming through humidity for what feels like weeks, and the Day of the Thousand-Year Fuji (post coming soon!) feels like a dream, or a fluke.
Everyone asks, how was Okinawa, and I tell them “It was rainy.” To which they always say, oh, yeah, it’s the rainy season down there right now, after all. What? Why didn’t anyone tell me that when I was planning a trip? Note to self: the rainy season, like sakura season, like spring, like summer, starts in Okinawa early, and progresses north, apparently.
Rain is good for some, for farmers ready to flood their fields, for plants. I like the smell of it, out the window. The river is high and brown and leaping. And it’s still, still effin’ raining!