Summer solstice in Perth is officially a few minutes away. In nature, a day of transition. I’m no expert on weather, just an observer, and can attest this year has been the worst for fierce storms. December was to be a month of transitions for me too. I was anticipating a whirlwind of final visits to all regions. My trips were booked back to back and with three suitcases (Midwest, South West and Wheatbelt) all packed, it would have been easy to accomplish. I started my month in Merredin. I usually spend the night there after the clinic as it is a 3.5-4 hour drive home in open farming country. Driving at dusk is hazardous with fox and kangaroo being a real threat to safety. It was a beautiful start to summer with clear skies and early warmth. I worked steadily all day, but about twenty minutes before my day ended I looked outside the window and noticed a sepia glow. I walked outside and found massive clouds were rolling in. I’ve experienced a storm cell in this region before. I hurried, wanting to escape the onslaught. I got as far as Kellerberrin, some 30 minutes away when it hit with force for the next hour and a half. Spectacular lightening, thunder that made my teeth chattered and hail and rain violently smashing my car. I calmed my nerves saying the insurance would cover any damage (my car is brand new, bought five months ago!). I was second last in a convoy of several 4WDs, no doubt all contractors like me, headed home in a hurry. I stayed with them for safety. Along the way we were stopped, the police and ambulance helping at a roll over. I averted my gaze. This is not how a work day should end. I was perfectly fine all day but by the time I got to Perth I could barely function. My car was unscathed but not me. I came down with a flu like virus and spent five days in bed. I had to cancel two clinics.
I then went to Kalgoorlie, my days there are always busy. Folks usually show up reliably for their appointments. I was exhausted by the end of the first day and went straight to bed when I noticed the sky took on an unusual glow. Then the summer storm hit. Now, I’ve heard people talk about thunderstorms in the Goldfields but have never really experienced it myself despite working there monthly for years. Similar to the experience in the Wheatbelt, once again the clouds collided, followed by a drawn out drum roll that sounded like an introduction. The lightening intense and nuclear bright. There was nothing gentle about the rain, either. Already safe in bed I enjoyed the drama so much I decided to record the sounds. I’ve heard it many times since, each time the memory is accompanied by smile.
Storms are much like life’s obstacles. A nuisance at the time, but enjoyed best on reflection. This month I had five nights in my own bed. I can’t remember the last time I did this!
Until next time
a dawn bird
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