Friday, October 21, 2011


It began with a blinding flash of light directly overhead, followed immediately by a deafening crash of thunder... and then a few drops of rain which rapidly escalated into a blinding hard rainfall. I had been lazing in a hammock in the ramada, casually glancing at the porch to watch the kids deeply engaged in their many activities--from scrabble to jenga, to building blocks to drawing etc...

What happened next was a blur of kids, gathering up their playthings and returning them to their storage space.... and then racing as fast as possible back to their various homes. Since the water had begun to splash my hammock, I figured what the hey, I'll saunter up to the porch, then.

From there, I spied Guillermo (of the slingshot and raccoon tale) sauntering up through the downpour with not a care in the world, though he was indeed dripping wet. He said he had come to invite us to dinner. He casually sat down on the top stair of our porch and watched the deluge just beyond his feet.

We assumed he was waiting for the rain to subside, so we just hung out, too -- just watching the rain pour down. It turned out, he was waiting for us to come along with him. This rainstorm was just beginning.... So together, off we stepped from the porch and into the water that was racing down our dirt driveway to the road below....

....which had become a river, with tributaries pouring in between every building... and as we progressed, soaking wet, we came to the next descent in our little dirt river-road and saw that we were heading for the Colorado River. With braced legs we pushed our way through the wild rapids... about knee-deep.. and into Guillermo's fenced in yard.

We ate standing up as their wall-less dining area was soaking wet. Excellent food as usual, just as good as the raccoon the other night. Then, we went to the upper porch to sit and watch, as the river in the road was augmented with waterfalls from surrounding fenced-in yards.

I liked imagining myself in a miniature raft, Grand Canyon style, and thus scouted for a route through the huge rolling rapids... but as the rain continued to fall, and the river continued to rise, the rapids became impassable for my imaginary raft... There was no safe route through the huge rollers of my imagined Colorado run.

As the flow began to seep into Guille & Sara´s yard, a light went on in Guille's mind. With a big grin, he splashed over to his wheelbarrow which was piled with organic leaf and twig litter and rolled it over to the torrent in the street... and dumped it. He shrugged as it swirled away downstream...because it was headed to the very river and ocean that he would have hauled it to on another day.

Throughout all of this wonderful maelstrom, one neighbor, the flamboyantly gay man, did as he always does -- he turned up the volume of his music so that above the pounding of rain on metal rooves, we could hear pounding drum-beats and screaming guitars!! Such a circus.

When the rain subsided somewhat, Robert and I waded out to survey the changes.

What stunned us was to see that the river itself -- the one we had crossed at night after a smaller storm when we first arrived -- was now utterly impassable. It was HUGE. It was now so wide that it was four to five times its usual width. It buried the road that parallels the river, and lapped against the surrounding hillsides. It raced furiously toward the sea, brown and roaring. It had risen some four to five feet. My imaginary Colorado River that ran through the streets was child's play to this... the real thing.

We tried walking alongside it down to the where the river empties into the sea --to the place where we originally camped the very first time we ever came to this beach. We couldn't make it. Not that night.

And now? After the deluge? You would hardly know it happened. The river is a wide, clear creek again. Roads are passable. All is well.

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