Several months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of loud drumming. My hazy brain still full of dreams tried to make sense of the racket. Is someone banging on my door? Did my neighbor suddenly take up the drums? Am I still dreaming?
It took another minute or two before full consciousness set in. My neighbor wasn’t playing the drums. No one was at the door. The sounds came from right outside my bedroom window.
Heavy rains rattled against the metal body of the air conditioner like the tapping of typewriter keys. The steady pitter-patter of the rain and the gush of water flowing down the drains hypnotized me.
Last year in April, it rained everyday for almost a week. Every morning, I woke up to raindrops hitting the cobblestone streets of a small village in Andalusia. After a long and snowy winter in New York, I was looking forward to warm and sunny days in Competa, a whitewashed hill town in the south of Spain. Instead, we were rained out in an ancient stone house with no central heating, 2,000 feet above sea level.
I spent every morning in Competa staring out the kitchen window and wishing away the rain. Like a sulky child, you could almost hear me chant, “rain, rain go away, come again another day.”
With barely enough heat inside the house, I whiled away the long afternoons up on the covered roof terrace, where it was warmer during the day. I read books. I ate meals. I wrote. I ate some more and wrote some more.
The rain didn’t diminish the view of the mountains that surrounded the village. On those rare occasions when the skies did clear up, albeit momentarily, I saw the Mediterranean.
Some nights, we braved the slippery streets of Competa to venture down to the local bar. Rainwater flowed from the highest point of the village like miniature waterfalls that followed us down the steep steps to the Plaza Almijara.
Bar Perico became our haven in Competa. We sat outside when the rain cleared or at the bar next to locals and ate boquerones fritos or jamon serrano topped off with red sangria.
Several rainy days in a row in a sleepy hill town brought on cabin fever. Driving on narrow, winding, cliff-hugging roads in the rain seemed like a bad idea but one day we braved the slippery roads and drove to the neighboring villages. We went to the beach in Nerja where we ate delicious seafood and walked along the Balcon de Europa. We also ventured to Frigiliana another mountain village a few miles away.
But, most of the time on those long drizzly days with nothing to do, we stayed put. Up there on the terrace under the tin roof, I listened to the rain.
Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.