Rainy Day

San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

December 1, 2007
A photograph of yesterday deserves to hang on the corkboard of the local post office, right next to the wanted posters of the country’s vilest criminals. It earned the right by being as badly behaved as the worst of them.

Rain was the peccadillo that promoted yesterday to this stature --a slow, firm, steady, twelve hour anointment that filled all the low spots of the roads and highways and exhausted the supply of pots and pans in nearly every home and business as they were deployed under countless water torture devices that were collectively once described as the roofs of San Felipe.

The relentless rain caused three reliably steadfast things to take a holiday. The first was the town’s schools, which released their cargo to waiting buses that drove the jubilant students through the hissing streets. The second was the much vaunted rain shadow effect of the Sierra San Pedro Martir mountains. And the third was the loyalty of the power grid, which took a series of short siestas in the morning.

Of course, the sun took a holiday too.

While the streets slowly filled with water, people climbed to their roofs with tarps and plastic drop sheets in a Dutch boy effort to plug up the source of their leaks. But water is ghost-like in its effect and seemed to easily pass through any barrier. Even the advertisements on the bulletin boards shaded by overhangs rolled up like scrolls and ran their inks.

The wind picked up in the evening and removed the protective tarps, forced the water through every crevice and crack. The sun rose and steamed the ground. The townpeople turned up their collars and prepared to get their feet wet. If their cars would start.

Click on any thumb
to enlarge.