Things are Looking Up

A welcome reprieve has been granted to the city’s discontent, gloom and smog. The Chilean national soccer team beat their arch rivals, the Argentinians, last weekend to win the America Cup. Fireworks, cheers, horn honking, euphoria filled the night air. For once, the underdogs from this sliver of a country at the bottom of the world won the prized trophy.

Now this weekend RAIN is forecast, in fact, a BIG STORM. The TV weathermen have announced it for days, giving lengthy, detailed descriptions, aided by maps, of the progress of the storm coming off the Pacific. I study the clouds. So far, just minor sprinkles have moistened our world and a light mantle of snow rests on the Andes. But heavy rain is due and I look out the window for its arrival, my ears perked for the wonderful patter on the roof. Such build-up and excitement for a climatic phenomenon we used to consider completely natural. I’m prepared: door mats and patio furniture put away and a thick book to keep me company while the rain cleanses and refreshes our thirsty, dusty world.

Gusts of wind scatter leaves helter-skelter. The much-awaited storm is announcing its arrival. I turn my chair to an angle for a better view. But, then – stillness. The storm is reluctant, advancing in fits and starts.

Night has descended. Outside the pavement is wet and rain dots puddles shining in the streetlights and tap-taps the waterspout outside my study. A gentle rain. No downpour – yet.

Whipping gusts of wind through the night and a steady rain. The scene in our backyard this Sunday morning – a disorderly riot of leaves (as if they’d had a wild party during the night) and a large fallen bough from our avocado tree. We lounge in bed, a breakfast tray between us, watching the rain and reading the morning newspaper.

I turn first to the international news, the travel magazine and Arts and Letters section. Isabel Allende’s latest book, “The Japanese Lover” is number one on the Chile’s fiction book list. The author is here now to launch her book and visit family. I missed by one day her book launch at the Book Passage Bookstore in Marin County, but I left her a gift. I put a copy of my memoir in a pink gift bag along with a letter to her and left it at the book store. I wrote that we had an old friend in common, now deceased, and that I used to carry letters from him when I traveled to mail to her in Marin. I told her she might find my memoir of interest as, in many ways, our lives were mirror images. She left her native Chile to finally settle in my home county, while I left Marin to live my adult life in Chile. We are also the same age. I doubt that, in her busy life, she’ll take interest in my book, but I wrote my email address in small letters at the bottom of the letter. I don’t expect to receive a response….but wouldn’t it be exciting if I did!

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