It's pouring for the fourth or fifth time in the last six days. Huge, heavy sheets of water are pounding the pavement outside my window, streaking the air and scouring the streets, carrying away anything small and light enough to be borne upon the currents.
This isn't rain. Raindrops are small, they strike the window with a dainty tink-tink-tink that is calm and reassuring, as gentle as a bee on the flower. This is a river, falling from the sky in a torrent of a thunder god's wrath. If you go outside in rain, you feel refreshed and cleansed; if you go outside in this, you feel cold, tired and miserable, and all you want to do is to go someplace warm and dry off.
Rain waters the plants. This beats them to the ground, stripping leaves and even branches from trees. The only thing that is growing from this symphony of thunder and water is mushrooms. They came from nowhere, an army of decay, and suddenly the soldiers are everywhere, overrunning everything. They have overrun the back yard, appearing on wood chips, popping up between the blades of grass, and growing ever larger in the dim afternoon.
Meanwhile lightning strobes overhead. It barks thunder like a mighty cannon, rattling our ears, shaking our teeth, and making tall buildings groan and hide.
This must be what it was like for the neighbors of Utnapishtim: day after day of unrelenting water and no sun, until the creeks rose, the rivers revolted against the chains that fixed them to their beds, and even the highest hill disappeared beneath the cresting waves.
As it was in the days of Noah ...
Copyright © 2009 by David Learn. Used with permission.