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Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring

It's Wednesday afternoon - The heavens opened on Monday and I actually thought they were never going to close. I've experienced rain before and have been in plenty of storms. But I've never been in a house for such a length of time, without being about to venture out because of the consistent rain. It was horrendous. It started Monday evening and stopped this afternoon at around 1o'clock. Much to everyone's relief.

The first night it started, I had never heard anything like it. I couldn't sleep for the noise of it and had nightmares about storms, floods and accidents. The whole day yesterday, it continued and right the way through the night. I really thought the rain was neverending. I thought that was it.. forever.. No more sun, no more dryness. Just clouds and the sound of the raindrops on the roof, with flood warnings on the news, for the south eastern region of Queensland. I've always known that Queensland is classed as the tropics (just like the Northern Territory, and parts of Western Australia), and that it therefore doesn't rain that often. But on those odd occasions when it does rain, it POURS!! Now I've finally come to experience what rain in the tropics really is. In Thailand I had experienced torrential rainfall, as I was there in the monsoon-season, but it was only for short periods at a time. Here though, it just didn't want to stop.

All that rain, the sight and the sound, started to make me feel slightly enclosed and claustrophobic. Not that I suffer from claustrophobia.. But I could easily have done, given the circumstances. It was probably down the fact that there was just no way I could get out and about, when I wanted it most. We were all so restless, pacing up and down, not being able to sit, not being able to go about a day the way we normally would do and waiting for it to ease off.. The weatherforcast said that it was to still be heavy, until the weekend. And hearing that, you're thinking to yourself..well, there goes any chance of making of the most out of my last week here with Trish. So restricted in doing anything.. But then a miracle happened and it stopped! No more raindrops, no more noise, no more floods.. (for now that is, it could still turn around). It started to brighten up and slowly patches of blue started to appear in the sky and all was calm again. Hallelujah!!

That's when I went for a walk. Seeing as though there was still more rain to come, I knew this was my chance to just get out in the fresh air, for only a short while, even if it was just to make the most of the sun that was shining. It was still warm and the air was nice and humid, not cold or sticky or windy. As I walked along, everywhere was covered in huge poodles, miniature rivers and the excess water was gushing underground. I could even hear it. But it was so calm and everywhere seemed so much greener. I was stopped in my tracks by a road just around the corner, that was flooded. It seemed so unfortunate to see what the rainfall had done and the extent of the damage it can cause, especially knowing that there are other parts of the region that have been more badly effected than we have been. For a moment, I had forgotten where I was and what I doing, when I started to remember the first time I walked down that same road, 3 weeks ago - which feels like a lifetime ago - and the feeling of content freedom I had for being here, in Queensland Australia. I felt sad for having suddenly lost sight of where I was, when I turned around and there I saw the first kangaroos in the wild, since arriving here nearly a month ago. I was just so happy. It was like a wake-up call to me.. "Niamh..don't forget to never stop appreciating where you are and what you're doing, even if it is just that walk I'm taking or the kangaroos I'm seeing or the country I'm experiencing or the people I'm meeting or the freedom I'm having". As I walked on further down the road, there were a few more. They were so close, so calm, just standing there, looking at me, posing for the camera as I tried to capture them whilst being so tame in their wild surroundings. It totally made my day. The sun was in my face and everything was able to breathe, I was able to breathe again. The air, the ground, the animals, the people..

The so so familiar saying "after rain comes sunshine".. (or something like that) is so so true. The sun is always there, it never lets us down, it's always waiting patiently to soak up the rain and in some cases to go a little bit too far and to dry out the fallen rain too much. But it's just a relief to know, even if the rain does pick-up again this evening, that it will always shine again. They are still giving flood warnings for the region, it's on the national news too. So many accidents have happened, homes destroyed and creeks breaking their banks. But hopefully, for once, the weatherman has gotten it WRONG.. and the rain will hold off and the dry relief can be appreciated..

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