It has been Storm Central in Sydney over the past few days – severe electrical storms that made the lights go off and on, the phones zing, the windows shake and the doors swell with moisture. Some suburbs were unlucky enough to receive one month’s worth of rain in half an hour.
Chaos reigned as homes and roads were flooded, services cut. We joined in, playing musical buckets, as we have a leaking roof our landlord is taking her own sweet time to fix. *Sigh*
Everything is damp. Everything is gray. The rain is so thick against the windows they appear pixelated. There is so much water on the roads that I feel I am going to float downstream, a leaf searching for dry land.
Before the storm struck on Monday evening there was a calm, eerie, making me fold my arms across my chest instinctively. Jake and I were coming back from the shops. He took my hand as he did when he was little and said :’All the birds have gone. There are no people in the streets. It is like the end of the world.’
The clouds were rolling, every shade of black and gray imaginable. A wind came from the south, low enough for us to think it was beneath our feet, the first chill of autumn.
We made it indoors just before lightning shot from a clutch of clouds, the slam of the thunder like the closing of a dungeon door. Without delay, the sky was at war, crisp waves of energy vibrating against the earth. The rain fell, blowing spray, bellowing, making the house shudder.
After an hour the rain stopped. The sky cleared to white. A lone pigeon fluttered to the grass, grabbing worms and bugs, shaking raindrops from his wings. Jake and I stood, looking through the leaves of the jacaranda, trying to estimate how much rain had fallen.
And then we saw it. Incongruous, floating through the turbulent sky, a beacon, a silly joke sent by the gods – a green helium balloon with a trailing silver string, gliding easily as a gull over water, striding up and up and up as if bent on tackling the clouds. We made bets as to where it had come from, scanning the streets as if the culprit lurked close by. And then, once more, the rain came, and the balloon was gone.
Loved the balloon! Made it almost woth the storm! But, how about this weather? Is the rain falling where they need it?
The balloon was definitely a gift. It does seem to be falling where they need it but as usual, more is falling in the city. I’m longing for a little bit of sunlight.
Wonderful descriptions here and I love the dove and the balloon at the end. I’ve experienced wild storms too, they can be quite exhilirating, but always there’s a sense of danger and they can be so very destructive. It does often seem to be the way that when there’s been a drought, the rain comes too much at once when it finally does come.
sounds like a typical winter in northern california… gray doom and gloom…..well… not this week…..
I don’t envy you the storm part but geez what I’d give to see some rain. I can’t even remember when it rained last in Adelaide and at the moment I feel like I’m living in a dust bowl.
I love a good rain storm. Of course as long as I dont have to drive in it. Or leave the house…and preferably with no internet connection issues!!!
Oh dear one I LOOOOVE storms. Love them – love the sound and the crackle in the air. Of course, I love them BETTER when I can enjoy them from home, snuggled in a blaket and listening to it on my window – not driving or walking in the darn stuff!
“Before the storm struck on Monday evening there was a calm, eerie, making me fold my arms across my chest instinctively. Jake and I were coming back from the shops. He took my hand as he did when he was little and said :’All the birds have gone. There are no people in the streets. It is like the end of the world.’”
“…the slam of the thunder like the closing of a dungeon door. Without delay, the sky was at war, crisp waves of energy vibrating against the earth. ”
These are lovely! Thank you for letting me experience this with you.
I love seeing solitary balloons in the sky – they always feel like they have stories attached to them.
A severe rain storm always makes me think of the Apocalypse.
You describe the thunderstorm so well … it put me right back there. That ‘calm before a storm’ is so eerie when there aren’t any natural sounds … my dog starts twitching and pacing and pawing. And then the rain comes and comes … I don’t like these sorts of storms. (You have reminded me that I need to check my eavestroughs before spring thaw … thanks).
I hope the sun begins to shine and the rain clouds go far, far away!
Selma, Monday’s deluge struck as walking to Central Station after work. I was strolling down Elizabeth street and it wasn’t raining and then suddenly, KABOOM! It was as if someone had flicked a switch aand the rain bucketed down in biblical proportions. A kindly samaratian let me share his umbrella. A nice gesture, much appreciated – but because of the wind, I was drenched by the time I got to Central.
’All the birds have gone. There are no people in the streets. It is like the end of the world.’”
From Elizabeth to Central station , the streets were strewn with discarded black umbrellas, all bent out of shape, like giant bats with broken bones, like images from a modernist poem by T.S Eliot or W.Stevens.
CRAFTY GREEN – there does seem to be an awful lot of rain at the end of a drought. The flooding in some parts of Australia is really bad. It really is a case of ‘from one extreme to the other.’
PAISLEY – so glad you’re not experiencing the gloomy rain this week. It does get to you after a while.
GYPSY – I’ve heard Adelaide is incredibly dry at the moment. Sending rain vibes your way……
MELEAH – I agree, especially about the internet connection issues. Makes it hard to blog!
NANNA – it’s so nice to sit inside with a blanket when there’s a storm outside. I love how you describe it as the crackle in the air.
KAREN – my pleasure. You’re more than welcome to help me empty buckets too. Only joking. Haha.
BEC – I know. I always wonder who let them go. They look so lonely flying off by themselves.
KATE – animals are incredibly intuitive, aren’t they? It may be hard to believe but even my goldfish freak out before a storm. They go to the back of the tank and hide. Poor little things.
DAVID – I love that image with all the discarded umbrellas – well described. So glad the good Samaritan came to your aid!
I loved the way you ended it….the balloon and the rain, refreshing post.
UL – I couldn’t believe it when I saw that balloon. It was amazing!