The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

After The Rain

I wanted this to be a summer of memories. Instead it was more like the summer of incessant heat. We’ve been told that there were 7 heat-waves in all but, in truth, I could not fathom where one ended and the next started. Summer sped by in a blur of melting asphalt and parched, brown fields.
Last Sunday dawned with the hint of a promise. I could not  put it into words, even if I tried, maybe it was just a vestigial, primeval instinct, but I knew there would be a change before the day was out. It was hot, and the humidity was so thick that it felt like a physical wall, but the strangest thing was that, on this island of a thousand breezes, there was an unnatural, unearthly stillness. It was mesmerizing. Not a bird stirred. Not a leaf moved. The only sound was the shrill cry of the cicadas, that seemed to be beseeching the heavens for I know not what.
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By mid-afternoon a shadow dimmed the light of the sun. Somewhere there had to be clouds – only we could not see them yet. Slowly, they drifted in. Big, swollen, grey clouds filled with quenching water. I prayed the storm would not pass us by.
By early evening it was completely dark and a gale rose out of nowhere. It carried with it the dust and debris of a hundred arid days. And after the dust came the rain. Plump drops of silvery rain, that made the dry ground sizzle and sing, as lightning bolts tore the sky asunder and thunder crashed and roared. It came down for an hour and, when all was still and silent again, I flung open the windows and I breathed, really breathed, for the first time in months. I could smell the aftermath of the storm, that earthy, fresh mustiness that only comes with the first rainfall. In the black void where the sea meets the sky, nature’s fireworks lit up the sky. A cool breeze caressed my face and my played with my hair. I smiled as the song of a lone cricket broke the hush. We had come full circle. Elusive autumn is on its way.
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After the storm
Location: Mtarfa, September 2012

21 comments:

  1. I don't think I add anything to this exceptional post, Loree. So all I will say is that I read it and loved it.

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    1. Thank you Suze. Much appreciated.

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  2. Hello Loree:
    What a wonderful description of the storm in which you convey so clearly the tension as it builds and then that wonderful release as it breaks. We too have experienced a summer of very hot temperatures and little in the way of rain. But even though the days are still warm, in excess of 30C, we detect a change in the air.

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    1. Yes, it's the same here.. It's still hot but there is a subtle change in the air.

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  3. Oh I am so glad the rain came for you, and your part of the world. The fields look green now, and your dancing soul is satisfied of thirst!

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    1. It is wonderful to have rain after 120 days of drought.

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  4. Absolutely gorgeous writing Loree, thank you so much for this--I felt that I was right there with you, waiting for that break and that inhale. When I was little, I survived two tornadoes and both times were precedented by that eerie quiet you describe!

    I also love that you and I both seem to be thinking similar thoughts these days but each in her own way.
    Sending a hug from Arles,
    Heather

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    1. Two tornadoes? That is amazing. I lived in St Louis for a year and several tornadoes had passed us by that spring and summer but, thankfully, we were not in their direct path.

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  5. what a lovely write. (and glad you finally got some much-needed rain!)

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    1. Thank you Leslie. I was thinking of you and hurricane Isaac, although it wasn't quite as bad.

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  6. Happy you got the so much desired rain. I saw some pictures of the damage the storm left behind in Malta, you gave it a very pleasant description but it seems it wasn't so pleasant in reality.
    Sue.

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    1. You're right. It was quite a massive storm but we live on the high ground so sometimes we don't realise how bad it is in the low lying areas.

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  7. Beautifully written Loree, thanks! A few days earlier I and DH were sitting quietly on the rooftop and suddenly I exclaimed that I felt the cold breeze of impending rain, LOL I should have said, "thunderstorms!"

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  8. Sounds like your summer was one long heat wave, glad you finally got some rain!

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    1. Yes, the heat started around mid-June and lasted will last Sunday. Now it's a bit cooler.

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  9. Loree love your words...they paint a true description of a long hot dry spell and then the welcome rain...hope autumn becomes much better for you. Have a great week-end - p.s. when you get a chance you must go out and dance in the rain. It is truly good for the soul.

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    1. I think I will do that one day :)

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  10. I wished you could have sent us some of the heat ! we had such a cold, wet and grey summer, it was just the opposite to yours !

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    1. I would glady have sent some. It was really too suffocatingly hot this year.

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  11. We love thunderstorms around here so I can definitely relate. When every day is bright blue skies, those dark rainy days are so wonderful! Welcome fall, we say!!

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Thanks for stopping by. I read and appreciate every one of your comments. I will do my best to reply whenever I can.

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