Here comes the rain …

There is something quite distinctive about the monsoon season.  Those who have experienced it, will confirm this.  There is the ‘build up’, the oppressive humidity, that can be quite stifling and being indoors in air conditioned comfort brings on ‘cabin fever’.  One looks forward to rain with anticipation and when it comes, one rejoices with a sigh, saying “Here comes the rain”.  I’ve written about the monsoon season memories of my childhood elsewhere in my blog.  The time to revisit those memories now, seems appropriate.  I experienced rain during the monsoon season in my childhood, now I experience it as winter storms.  What a difference!

Perth has been in the throes of some nasty weather.  I was up north when a large portion of this very expansive State was under a severe weather warning.  It was still warm north but as soon as I saw clouds appear, I knew the skies would be magnificent.  So, of course, I headed out with camera.DSCN8681.jpgThe sun broke through, as it always does, just beyond the Small Boat Harbour, (Carnarvon).DSCN8700.jpgI delighted in the superb drama happening over this little town, quelling my fears of flying home through this and then to weather that was worse in Perth.  The flight back was surprisingly calm in the small plane.  But there was silence among the 34 passengers when the pilot announced we were going to land in poor weather in 60 km/hour high winds.  I know what 28 km/hour winds during landing feels like in this plane.  But 60!  I closed my eyes and visualized all good things in my life.  I found it was not a difficult thing to do.  Half an hour from landing I clutched the seat tighter and tighter, while we bounced and rattled.  We landed with an almighty thud and a deafening whoomf.  Then came the short dash from aircraft to terminal.  As soon as we stepped off the plane, it hailed.  (Yes, it hurts when it hits one’s face!).

The experience of monsoon rain is different.  There’s relief and seems like generosity of Nature, when it rains.  A winter storm is all anger and unpredictability, like Nature is having a tantrum.  I’ve come to love both experiences for all the sensory components they bring.

I do question myself from time to time.  Did I miss out on something special because I lived my life from month to month, skidding into the next season with a regularity that now seems mundane.  If I did, the time to experience life, is now.  And, that’s the beauty of living.  The now, is the starting point.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Batten down!

 

 

I tried to leave home before the storm hit.  The weather bureau predicted it was severe and one of two such storms in a given year.  The message was simple.  “Batten down!”  For once, the prediction was correct.  The rain, a deluge, forced me off the road and forced me to seek shelter at a petrol station off the highway, as did the 100 km/hour high winds.  I got to Bunbury just before it got too dark.

DSCN8407.jpgThis sunset at Back Beach in Bunbury, did, however, salvage the day for me.  It was cold.  It was wild.  It was magnificent.DSCN8353.jpgThe storm passed over night.  The next day I went to Big Swamp after work.  There seemed to be more swamp hens than I’ve ever seen before.  I love them!  Usually shy, this one was bold and sounded a raucous warning of my presence.DSCN8366.jpgThe path to the water is decked with winter colours.DSCN8359.jpgThe purple pea flower was prolific winding over shrubs and trees.DSCN8371.jpgI’m not sure what this plant is called but it is unusual.  Flowers grow on stalks that are on both sides of the leaf.

I returned home with the knowledge, it is spring next month.  Until then, one can only hope, rain means more wildflowers this year.  My work will be taking me to them.  I can’t wait!

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

 

Inflight angel

She is slender with skin like ebony, smooth and dark.  Her eye lashes are naturally long and curled.  Her long hair is captive in a netted chignon.  Her bilingual skills are evident in her faint French accent each time she says, “attentsheeon”.  In a noisy plane, I watch her lean closer to the elderly man and say, “Monsieur, would you like some coffee?  Tea?”  Her sparkling teeth framed in a smile, floods the small plane with light.  He beams back at her.  “Tea, thanks, love”, he responds happily.  Her light, her aura, is generous.  We all share this during a short flight.

The small plane shook and rattled.  We are flying into a very strong headwind, punching through big angry clouds.  I catch her eye, me from the back, and she in the front.  She smiles.  I, do, too.  Secretly, we both know, we are serene as ducks on a pond, each hiding the anxiety that wells inside.  We laugh nervously when saying goodbye.  No more words needed.  We are safe.

I’ve taught myself to be less anxious on these flights.  I focus on taking photographs or visualize my return home.

These are some of the pictures I keep in memory ….DSCN7519.jpgA musk duck trying to look cool while expelling a blast of bubbles when attempting to attract a mate!thumb_IMG_3282_1024.jpgPerth Airport, just before I flew out the other day.  thumb_IMG_3310_1024.jpgI’ve come to know the Midwest is gorgeous in winter.  This hill is on approach to Geraldton.thumb_IMG_3308_1024.jpgIf you wake early enough, you’ll find frost on desert flowers in the mining region.thumb_IMG_3276_1024.jpgAnd when I return home, it’s time to stop and smell the roses.thumb_IMG_3273_1024.jpg

No medication can match the effectiveness of these strategies, for me.

Part of the journey was letting go of what I knew and stepping into the unknown.  I found it was not a bad place to be!

I’m no longer a nervous traveller.  A stormy sky no longer makes me anxious.  I’ve learned to trust.  It is as big a step, as learning to forgive.  I found when you do, you give yourself an amazing gift.

You start to live.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird

Storms make us stronger

via Daily Prompt: Archaic

The concept of prayer and faith is a difficult one to describe to anyone who does not share the same thinking.  I know I have tried and failed miserably because faith and prayer is inextricably linked to who I am as a person.  It comes to me without thinking.  It is my go to place.  I have never needed this more than in the last 48 hours.

I was headed out of Perth on a day when a massive storm was predicted.  I was headed east and know the road well.  I had previously driven the highway during a storm and for a stretch of 60-80 kms watched the tall gum trees that flanked the highway, dance above my car.  I was watchful and tense.  The winds this time were stronger at 125 km/hour.  The rain expected to be torrential.  It was still when I was ready to leave the metro area.  The air heavy, stifling, waiting to implode.  I went back into my home and grabbed some summer clothes, thinking it would be hotter than I thought.  I was wrong!  At night the air in this open land was cold and biting.

Once I left the city behind I did not anticipate the journey ahead.  The paddocks were bare, ready for seeding.  The beige pastures dry.  The beige now in the air.  Visibility was negligible.  The folks in the region told me it was the worst dust storm in their memory.DSCN7122.jpgI turned off my air con and coughed my way through the next 160 km.  When I arrived I could barely speak, my mouth and teeth gritty with dust. The next day I headed further north east.  I had another two hours of driving.DSCN7151.jpgI could see the dark clouds build up on the horizon.  I tried to beat the rain.  It arrived before I could step it up.  The rain was like a powerful waterfall.  The wipers could not keep up.  The road started to flood in places and my car bounced off sheets of water.  I could not see a suitable place to stop and park.  I was doing between 50-70 km/hour in a 110 km/hr zone.  The stress of someone coming up behind me and not seeing me in time was ever present.  The only thing I could do was hold my nerve and pray, “keep me safe”. DSCN7147I got to a tiny hamlet called Latham when the sun broke through and it felt like I was on another planet.  The birds came out tweeting.  The wedge tailed eagle.  Pink Galahs.  Tiny honeyeaters.  And, I even saw a Maleefowl saunter back into the bush. The difference in the weather was unbelievable.

I was running late and could not stop to take any pictures.  This area is renowned for wildflowers.  I know I’ll be back in spring.DSCN7152.jpgAnother day of criss crossing towns and then I was finally on my journey home.  This time I indulged in a little rubber necking.  There was no one else on the road for one stretch of 51 kms, so I stopped and took this picture.  One of the most meditative drives I’ve had in a while.

I could see the storm clouds building again.  Having experienced the worst the previous day, these ominous clouds could not damper my spirit.  There was an innate confidence.  I would be safe.

It may be old fashioned to think this way, but prayer works for me.  It’s my hard wiring.  It makes all things possible in my life, or perhaps, I believe it does.  And, as long as I don’t impose it on others, I see no harm in it.  Nor does it harm me.  (I’ll have to remember this tomorrow when I fly out in predicted bad weather!)

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird