Waiting For Monsoon

The monsoon is coming. We’ve felt it in the air for a few days now. The clear skies have given into cloudy ones, with a bit spurts of sun every once in a while. The air has chilled, the wind has come in, the silent calm can be as deafening as the busy crowds at tourist season.

Apparently last night there was a major storm. Pine cones dropped on the roofs, wind was fierce, rain was unrelenting. I slept through it all. My wife was sure the monsoon had rolled in, but it was a storm before the storm.

When I walked to campus this morning, I looked to my left and saw a beautiful site. As always, pictures do no justice, and I knew that, but I had to take a photo.

It may be hard to see, but there are mountains in the far background, that seem to be highlighted by the colors in the horizon.

I have never witnessed the monsoon, much less the arrival of it, but the pictures…

I hope the arrival of the monsoon here up in the mountains is as dramatic as down in the plains of south India. If not, next year I will have to take the boys down.The monsoon has moved up the western coast of India, and will make its way east soon. I have been tracking its progress and assumed it would hit yesterday, but I also know it’s several days behind schedule. So I wait.

There is a great book called Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater, a true story of his attempt to travel north with the monsoon to different cities to watch it arrive in each location. It is perhaps the best book I have read about India. We are encouraging our younger son to read it, and gave it to him this morning.

Once, many years ago, I went to Bethany Beach in Delaware with a large group of family members, only to have a huge winter-like rain hit the area for days. It rained and didn’t stop raining. I wrote a poem at that time, about being stuck inside as it rained on my vacation, literally.I used anapestic meter, trying to capture the essence of the rainfall. I wasn’t as good at my poetry then as I am now, but anapestic meter is hard to write, as it doesn’t sound natural, so I don’t know how well I succeeded, but I tend to think the attempt fell short.

I have wanted to write a poem about rain for a while now. Perhaps being in the monsoon, and seeing the arrival of it, will help to finally write one. At the moment, not working and being in India, my entire life almost seems a vacation. Monsoon is such a necessary natural occurrence for the livelihood of India, and it can be quite romantic to boot. Perhaps it is just the thing I need to write that poem.

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