This morning I awoke to grey skies, a few flashes of lightning, the occasional rumble of thunder and the gentle pitter-patter of rain. Rain has been a common occurrence of late.
In Montreal it rained on the second day of Rathayatra and in Toronto it POURED on both days.
This has been Ontario's wettest Summer. Now usually, I'm not a big fan of rain. In Durban rain = cold. But here, the temperature remains moderate, even warm, so that you want to have the windows and doors open so you can hear the raindrops falling to the ground and enjoy the fresh, sweet, clean smell that comes with it. Getting soaked with rain in Durban = a cold for the next two days, while here its almost a welcome means of cooling down.
All this rain has made me think of Kavi Karnapuras description of the rainy season in Vrindavana. Here's a small excerpt, filled with the most beautiful imagery:
'Krsna went to the forest to tend the cows and play various sportive games in the company of Haladhara (Balarama) and the cowherd boys. Upon entering the forest they met the fortunate goddess of the rainy season. Seeing the beauty of the rainy season personified as a heroine, Krsna remarked, "Aho! Look what a wonderful sight!"
Krsna saw the goddess of the rainy season pervaded by a lusciously sweet fragrance from wearing the pollen of Kadamba flowers. The swarms of bumblebees darting through the air were her provocative glances cast at Krsna. She wore effulgent, attractive blue garments in the form of freshly formed, glistening rainclouds. The gentle rumbling of radiant rainclouds filled the forest with the sweet sound of her elegant voice. She offered newly sprouted barley grass as a bed for Krsna's pleasure. This colourful green bed of fresh grass defeated the beauty of a collection of the brightest emeralds.
The millions of indragopas (tiny red insects) crawling over the ground coloured the delicate lotus feet of that goddess of the rainy season with an effulgent red lac. A row of splendid restless cranes adorned her throat as a pearl necklace. The fanned tails of the dancing peacocks comprised her beautiful hair. The fragrant air blowing by the arjuna trees laden with sweet flowers formed her pleasant breath.
Her gentle, enchanting face was moistened with tears of tiny raindrops. Erect petals of bright yellow kadamba flowers formed her hairs that stood on end due to a rarely perceived ecstasy. She eagerly awaited to offer Krsna a fragrant garland made from the tiny malati flowers on her dangling creepers. Her restless eyes lowered out of respect and timidity when she offered her services to Krsna.
As an expert maidservant, she made wonderful garlands to decorate the whole forest of Vrindavana with an abundance of fragrant flowers. Overflowing with love and affection for Krsna, she desired to serve the Lord in various ways. Her bodily complexion reflected the fresh, dark blue rain clouds decorating the sky. Thus the goddess of the rainy season pleased the entire world with her sweetness.
Just as one gets relief from the scorching heat of summer by taking the proper medicine, similarly, all the living entities in Vrindavana felt delighted with appearance of the refreshing rainy season...What more can I say about the beauty of the rainy season in Vrindavana which brought supreme satisfaction to the playful prince of Vraja?"