The mist of early morning clears.
Midmorning comes and the pleasant atmosphere betrays whatever comfort it had held in an earlier promise.
the air is hot and still.
Fans work overtime stirring up what little cool air there is.
relief ships appear on the horizon,
bright white, reaching meters in height.
Their imminent arrival is finalised by mid-afternoon.
Soon flocks of birds with gusto will fuss
;a ritualised cacophony.
The maddening monotonous drone of Cicadas end.
All becomes still.
You sense the storm.
Feel the heat.
Smell the rain.
And anticipate relief.
In a brief instant, a flash in the distance. A rumble delayed.
A second flash, then a bolt, this time much closer to home.
Like the sound of a stockman’s whip the cracking echo hits the bush,
bouncing off Gum trees,
Paperbark, Wattle and Bottle-brush.
Interpreting the signs comes a mother’s reply: “She musta hit somethin’…time to get inside” .
The last remaining Rosellas and kookaburra bunker down,
joining them, those mighty heralds of rain,
the Black Cockatoos coordinate their huddle with little more than a screech.
the veiled sky fills with sporadic flashes of light and sound.
Coinciding with the patter of children’s feet as they scatter. A father smiles and with words intended to comfort says:
“God is either playing marbles or. moving. furniture”.
Yet not a drop of rain in sight.
Just…Clouds. Trapping. Tropical. Heat.
By late afternoon the Sun’s well timed fade cements its place in the silhouette of routine.
Almost on queue the anticipated apocalypse abandons suspense and smiles.
Refracting light beams in waves and water descends; each drop announcing the other.
The first cool rain of the day smells sweet,
filled with the scent of freshly cut grass and eucalypt.
The sun by now has set and the thunder slows.
The wind subsides and outside the rain falls.
Tonight will be a good nights sleep for all.
Ah, the beauty and the wonder of a storm in the middle of an Australian Summer.
The prose above was inspired by recent, much needed rain, and my youngest daughter. Who not long ago received her ‘pen licence’ for emulating, in handwriting, Dorothy Mackellar’s ‘I Love a Sunburnt Country’ .