It’s November 22, 2012. Last night the rains started. My God, finally. It has been three months now of being embraced, well, “roasted” by suffocating heat, this merciless sun, the dry season. I can clearly remember when the heat came — 19th of August. It was a new sun that morning, another one… you just knew.
Now, to be honest, we did have three days of rain since, that’s true. On October 10th and 11th, and on October 24th. But those were not really rain-rains, if you get what I mean. Okay, they were tough, but they only lasted about an hour each. Enough to fill our 500 liters water tank… giving us drinking water and means to bathe. Thank God.
But last night, definitely, they’re back! They went on the whole night, the noise… bashing the roof, and soaking the soil. Our creek is clear again, flowing strongly with pride, and the trees and plants rejoice. And even today, as I’m writing… it rains. It’s hitting on.
Then again, nothing special or extraordinary. The seasons change, like they do everywhere, but French Guiana is one of those places where extremes meet and clash so intensely, presenting us with an overwhelming and melodramatic stage-performance. And that gives things a slightly different dimension.
I must admit — living here in the Amazonian jungle — it ain’t easy. This extreme humid, damp, clammy toaster just sucks away your energy. In order to achieve something, anything here, you need twice as much time and energy compared with living, for instance, in Western or Northern Europe.
But that’s not the reason why I’m writing this. It’s because of what happened this morning. After waking up, watching the forest and the clouds still abundant with tons of water to drain, watching that, with the sun as their illuminating background, I suddenly realized something.
I understood why our ancestors had this profound respect, yes, this fear of the powers of Nature. Of Nature’s force, it’s devastating power. When one lives almost naked, unprotected in the middle of this power play, when Nature’s force unleashes, one cannot else but bow one’s head in silence, or — by contrast — just stare to the heavens in awe.
It can only make us remember where we really stand, what we really are. It can only make us humble. Grateful, even if it’s only for a little while, realizing that we live to see this. This all.
We realize there are things enormous, fantastic, inexplicable. Things so much greater than our often just petty day-to-day problems, and as such, facing this, we cannot else than realize we’ve been offered a tiny little awesome glimpse of God.