Apr 062020

The topic was at moments like these and the piece had to include the three words motorbike, whistle and footpath.

Gentle at first, then like the constant beat of a drum as it builds to a cadence – rain at last, on the tin roof. As it grows in sound and volume, water gushes down the gutters and the downpipes until the capacity is too great. The gutters overflow giving the sensation of standing close behind a waterfall without getting wet from the splashes.

Tanks, recently near empty, quickly fill under the deluge and soon brim over and add to the streamlets already snaking across the garden beds. Although sodden, the drooping mass of white flowers of the Dietes grandiflora continue to make a statement with violet tepals and yellow dashes of colour in their centres. Their role is to welcome visitors.

The large ceramic fish bowl situated in the corner, at the junction of two sleeper walls, is in danger of spilling over. Luckily the boarders, two red goldfish, swim safely below the surface.

The brick paving, under the spreading eucalypt branches laden down with heavy dripping gum leaves, is wet and slippery. The bricks remain dry in light rain, protected by the dense foliage, but today is different.

The neighbour’s dogs, with their persistent yapping, are drowned out. Usually they ramp up the noise when overcome with excitement at passing dogs but the rainstorm is too heavy and the dog walkers and their four-legged friends sensibly stay indoors.

The rain continues throughout the day, sometimes a cloudburst, sometimes just a sprinkle of raindrops. The water gauge creeps higher and higher and will need emptying before evening.

Small bubbling brooks course down the paths gathering pebbles and dirt, depositing them on paving around the house. The wind gusts, and rain spatters the windows, leaving pearl-like patterns that slowly drip, drip, drip.

Not only do humans rejoice but also the flora and fauna. Leaves, newly bathed, glisten and breathe as the remnants of summer dust are washed away. The birds delight in the worms coming to the surface making for an easy meal, the insects sheltering under leaves. In the near future, the welcome sight of green grass will appear.

Thoughts wander to the farmers desperate for rain to renew their pastures and feed the dwindling number of stock. The rivers that have run dry due to demands for water upstream. Fish left to flounder and die in polluted, algae– laden water.

My musings are interrupted by a motorbike mounting the footpath. A whistle blows but at moments like these the mail will only be collected after the life sustaining rain has ceased.