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.
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.
After the storm
Location: Mtarfa, September 2012