Rain & Lessons from Nature

It’s only fair that I speak of the rain that graced Egypt’s dry and sandy terrain, after writing about the sandstorm. There must be an Arab proverb that states, “Don’t worry, where there is a sandstorm, rain will soon follow”, because thankfully supple raindrops fell like stardust from the heavens, purifying the air from the dust, sand, and pollution we had all endured for more than three days.

When I heard the pitter-patter sounds of raindrops falling on a nearby rooftop, I immediately sought out to the terrace to watch with delight as the rain cleansed the local mosque’s dusty dome. I could smell the heavy scent of rain from where I stood, watching it gracefully fall to the streets, watching the silent earth quench its thirst.

The rain continued on and off for most of the day. And the next. It was also bitterly cold, (made worse by the wind), cloudy and gloomy. This is London weather, I kept repeating to anyone who would listen. This is how cold it feels in November. (Because let’s face it, although it was bitterly cold, thanks to the wind, it was never going to get as cold as the subzero temperatures we faced in the United Kingdom).

Unbeknown to us, the recipe for appreciating a beautiful sunset was in the making all this time, as the sun made an appearance today, taking my breath away during the sunset.

I couldn’t believe the colors my eyes were going over in detail, caressing, almost drinking in, after so much darkness and gloominess. I could see textures in the sky again, patterns and formations in the clouds, rich variations of colors as the sun plunged into the horizon. I also couldn’t believe that I could see the Cairo Tower on the skyline again, and this clearly. It was usually obscured by smog, fog, or haze.

It is a beautiful realization, that I often learn so much from nature. I pick up so many fruitful signs. This week I saw that “Verily, with hardship, there is ease,” (Qur’an 94:6). Because indeed, after the sandstorm, we were blessed with rain that washed its traces away. And then, right in front of my very eyes, I was blessed to witness a beautiful sunset that made me forget the last few days ever happened.

(Until, that is, I look at the massive post-sandstorm clean-up operation I have to take on. But I pretend it never happened while I watch the sun gently sink into darkness, knowing full-well that it was really rising somewhere else).

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