I write this as the last days of winter in this part of the world drenches the garden. It is barely audible, this rain. The cooling fan in this computer I use to write this random thought gives a predictable buzz.
Back to the country of my birth there is massive flooding. The last I heard from my family, by sms text message, was at 1 AM their side. They said the water was finally slowly subsiding. No other word since.
They had been stuck on the second floor of the house since noontime. Rain from a passing typhoon was the heaviest in decades, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. Within six hours only the roofs of single-storey houses were visible.
As I write this it is an hour before dawn there. I am thinking of my mother, over seventy, her two grandchildren holed up with my sister and her husband, along with two other families who had sought refuge with them.
For hours I had been frantically trying to get through to the various rescue teams, and so far no success.
The most recent report I gathered online mentions 46 deaths due to the floods.
It is nearly time for me to go to sleep in my comfortable bed with an electric blanket. The cruelty of this distance is nothing compared to the grim situation back home.
I wait for the next message, hoping the batteries on their cellphones don’t fail before someone rescues them. I dare not phone in case they have somehow found a way to sleep through the fear, even as the rain continues to come down in dark sheets.