Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The storm before the calm

Storms come slowly here. This is my first rainy season in a tropical country, and it's taken me a while to understand that there's no need to hurry if you find yourself outside when the clouds start building over the mountains and the first ripples of thunder rumble overhead.
It's not like Kamloops or the Prairies, where storms roll in so fast you can barely get the picnic supplies packed up fast enough. Here, hours might pass in between the start of the thunder and the first drops of rain. It gives you plenty of time to admire the gorgeous clouds that develop as the heat of the day builds into the storms that come every night.
I'm liking this season, with the foliage vivid green from all the rain and the river - barely a trickle three weeks ago - now running fast and furious. This must be the time for lizards to breed, because I hear them skittering like crazy in the leaves at the side of the road as I walk along. Unfortunately, it's also a happy time of year for mosquitos, so I'm back to using bug repellent as my morning skin cream.
I've learned to get up early and get the wash out on the line before 8 a.m., to make sure it dries before the daily rains set in. I know to get my walks in before 3 or 4 p.m., because it's almost certainly going to start raining right around then.  I've never liked umbrellas, but I don't leave home without one anymore. One day when the rain was particularly fierce, we saw a young boy running past our house crying, and I could sympathize; it's the kind of rain that hurts.
Most nights, I awake to the sound of rain pounding down, lightning flashing bright in the night sky. Sometimes we went to bed having forgotten to close up a couple of the more vulnerable windows, which means I have to jump up to do that before the water starts pouring in through the screens and down the walls. When the rain's really heavy, the water comes in through the windows even if they're closed, and in one particularly big storm came in under the doors as well.
And then the morning comes and it's sunny and clear again, and the only hint of the storm that came and went in the night are bigger and bigger puddles for me to manouevre past on my walk to work.

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