It beat a staccato on the brim of my yellow plastic hat as I bent over to watch the water sluice away the earth. The ground disappeared like a magic trick, there and gone – what seemed to be solid retreating to reveal the still-bright colors of a buried toy robot. I remember how the ground still boiled and heaved, and it was all suddenly so alien. Just four years old, I felt like an astronaut, an archaeologist. I wanted to plunger my hands into the earth and find what I was sure must lay deeper – the bones of the child who had owned the robot, who had lived here first. I wanted to sing him a lullaby, to read him Good Night Moon. Anything to spare him the blade of the rain. To tuck him back to the warm, dry bed of the earth and dark.