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I recall a little more than twenty years ago, we had rented what seemed like the perfect place for my mate and I and a baby on the way. It was surrounded by high walls and equally-high gates, which kept out the street noise outside. I thought at that time that this noise reduction attribute of the house had also conveniently created a flat studio-like acoustics which was perfect in case I needed a place for recording. 

For artsy ambience, it had a small fishpond in one corner, with a grotto of the Virgin Mary beside it, all facing the end of the driveway. However, the most appealing add-on for me had been a small hut in another corner of the property which also doubled up as a bar. Clearly we thought, thought the former residents must have been langyaws (foreigners). 

We didn’t mind not having a ref starting out. Who’d complain, our tap and drinking water directly came from mountain streams, stored in large water tanks provided by the subdivision for us, homeowners. 

In all, we enjoyed that brief spartan life, with only a bed, two tall chairs, a stove, and finally, a low Japanese table borrowed from my parents. This had been where we enjoyed most of our meals while squatting on the floor like they do in the land of the rising sun . 

We really didn’t mind the setup because we were thinking ahead then, and we figured furniture and appliances could come later when we were finally settled in. For about a week or two, it had seemed like we really struck a great deal, a perfect house and affordable rent. There was even a tennis court nearby. While there, we had began enjoying our meet ups with old friends living nearby and fraternizing with new neighbors who all turned out to be cool. For all of about a few months, everything had been like a dream. And then the rains came.

Funny thing, one would usually assume that floodings, as we know it, always start outside the house, then coming in through doorways like unwelcome visitors. Ours started leaking out from the bathroom floor and the toilet bowl. Apparently, the hill in back of the house directed all the waters our way, overrunning the waterway behind us and finally entering the septic tank then out our bathroom. 

Mornings after the rains always found me sweeping mountain soil out the doors. Thereafter , whenever it threatens to rain, my mind says, here we go again. King Theoden whispers in my ears “and so it begins” 

Alas, while that had seemed a long time ago, I remember it as if it happened yesterday. Who’s to forget? Whenever it rains hard now, I totally feel with friends who post about their own flooding ordeals at the present time.  While others alternatively show nature’s wrath as a thing of beauty, there’s really no philosophizing this, and I’m invoking the culture of blame as my trusty pointer. I suggest you too, point away.

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