Yesterday and last night Nature put on quite a show. There were high alert storm warnings for this area and around 8:30, when I took Salomé out for a walk, we had a thunderstorm, and I mean a thunderstorm, such as I had never experienced before: no rain, no wind, no lightening; just one peal of thunder after another as if all the thunder in the world had gathered for an evening melee. It was a crazy drum festival, a heavenly jazz session with only percussion instruments. Each peal of thunder was different from the previous one; some seemed to compete in intensity, others in length. I thought Salomé would be frightened but she wasn’t and we had a fascinating walk to the rumble-rumble of the clouded sky. Sometimes one clash of thunder would seem to fade into the following one as if they played together; other times there would be a brief space in between drumrolls
Then lightening had its turn around 3 a.m. when the skies lit up like a faulty Christmas connection with one bolt after another crackling loudly across the darkness. It was an awesome spectacle and this time Salomé did get frightened and readily climbed into bed with me, hiding her head under the sheet. With the lightening (the thunder, which seemed to have spent itself earlier, was absent) came the rain, torrents of water and high winds lashing out against the window which I had only just closed. It was a formidable exhibit of the forces of Nature and I watched, fascinated, as the flashes lit up the night sky again and again for over 15 minutes. Then it was over and Salomé and I curled up for a good night’s sleep.
This morning when I awoke there was sunshine pouring through my living-room window that opens to the East. For a moment, I thought that yesterday’s fracas had spent Mother Nature’s fury and we would have sun all day, but I was wrong. To the West menacing black clouds gathered and crept forward towards Salies. I picked up my umbrella and stuffed Salomé’s little red raincoat into my bag before setting off for the morning coffee.
Sure enough, no sooner had we settled down at our table under the awning of Rose’s Café, than the clouds opened up. It was a good rain, not torrential and without wind, thunder or lightening, but steady small drops that promised to replenish the water table gently. It lasted the better part of an hour and then the blue opened up again over Salies and it wasn’t long before the sun came through.
I was delighted. This meant I could do my morning walk with Salomé and enjoy the beauty of my surroundings after the rain. The air was cool but the sun on my back was warm as we set off. And I was right: everything sparkled and the atmosphere had been washed clean; every minuscule drop of water on every leaf and stem gleamed with solar energy suspended in the briefness of its existence. Pools of water on the pavement reflected what lay above turning the ground into a spaceless sky, an infinite chasm reflecting the world downwards. I could have sworn the flowers were singing with their whispered voices as we strolled by.
Everyone seemed happy and we all wished each other a very good day as we passed. I hung my umbrella on a fence in order to photograph another occupant of the sidewalk, one that often –or perhaps always- comes out after the rain, and then forgot my absolutely useless umbrella until almost arriving home; I had to turn back and recover it which made my walk a bit longer, and definitely put the tired Salomé out of sorts.
I was almost home, smiling and singing softly to myself, when a couple of fighter jets streaked across the sky above, out-racing their thunderous roar and leaving it to trail menacingly behind. I froze in my tracks and watched as the black metal birds disappeared into a distant cloud. It made me wonder…Epilogue: Today I realized that I had forgotten to add the picture of the little creature that comes out after the rain, so here it is (above).