24 August 2010
Dazzling lights in the sky again tonight, silent, long after the late afternoon thunder, which disappointed, only a smattering of heavy drops on our dry roofs and everything thirsty. We jumped and danced up and down on the deck, demanding for the rain to fall more, more. At least we got some cool air for a few hours earlier this evening.
We kicked the soccer ball back and forth on a spacious stretch of sidewalk nearby, taking turns at being goalie, and the high night electricity flickered now and then off the thin clouds.
The Kamogawa is so low. Rock-and-concrete riverbed reinforcement forms I've never seen before baking in the sun, sticking out as if they've been exposed like that for weeks. Whole areas of bleached stones forming uncomfortable-looking beaches with no perceptible slope to the water's edges. And the birds start to look worried, I worry.
Crossing one of the small bridges over the Takasegawa, shocked to see it nearly dry. Usually it is an inch or two deep, an entirely man-made stream, ornamental and historical. But I love this little trail of water through downtown. Today, more stone riverbed was visible than not, and the water looked stagnant, tepid, and yellow.
Just a month ago, the rivers were overflowing. I wasn't around to witness it, but the images of churning, rushing water were I saw were unlike anything I've seen here before. Many places along the riverbank that were closed off, and a lot of the homeless people who had lived under the bridges for years had to leave in a hurry.
Pakistan seems so far away.