Thursday, June 09, 2005


This morning, I saw a group of men and women unloading large numbers of sacks of green and black dried peas (or I think they’re peas) from a big yellow and red trailer-truck with “Land for Tillers Freedom” painted on the side. They spread the peas out on three large tarps, and left them to dry further in the hot sun. Looking at these peas spread so innocently on the ground, I thought “I’m sure it’s going to rain today.” I have an occasional prophetic power, it seems. At about four this afternoon, it began to rain, softly at first, giving the women time to rush the peas into the shed, and then harder, pouring for about ten minutes, then stopping, although the skies are still overcast, and maybe it will rain again. The sandy courtyard of the ashram still looks and feels almost dry; it has absorbed the water so quickly in its thirst.

Coming from a rainy part of the world, I have a habit of analyzing rainfalls. Washington State rain is cool and clean, soaking everything with its constant gentle fall, but leaving the air dry. Rain in Massachusetts, where I study, is freezing cold and clingy, chilling to the bone, and seeming dirty. The rain brought with it a distinctive strong smell. It was cooling and dampening, and fairly gentle in its fall. The air is much cooler now, and less humid. I went out to enjoy the rain, and the breeze feels wonderfully chilling on the damp back of my neck.

The next morning, Friday:

It’s still overcast this morning. It’s already 9:15 (as usual here, I’ve been up since 5) and the clouds are still thick, although the air is not damp. Maybe it will rain again in the afternoon. Last night, the breeze felt very different from the strong, warm wind that was blowing previously. I spent about an hour last evening talking and trading songs with the boys on the roof, who should have been studying. Mea culpa! They all wanted to know my address and the names and ages of everyone in my family (when I said my sister’s age, they all thought I had said “50” instead of “15,” and burst out laughing when I said that would make her older than our mother). I sang some songs, having to pause between them to think of more songs to sing (for some reason, whenever I am called upon to sing, I forget all my songs), and then some of the boys sang. There is one boy, Muttukumar, with one of the most beautiful treble voices I have ever heard. He sang a song about Krishnammal and then one about the Kilvenmani tragedy of 1968. Both songs were lovely, but when I asked who had written them, he didn’t understand me. I then left to let them get back to their studying. I’m going to Gandhigram on Tuesday, or so is the plan.



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