Rain – I write it, live in it, love it and sometimes fear it and want to escape.
Like it or not, it’s an inescapable part of North Queensland life.
Rain can flood, trap, enclose and invite pieces of writing from within.
Rain refreshes, reminds and reflects moods.
I taste the rain and all it touches when I walk through the rainforest. I see the world in the drops that creep across a licuala leaf and plop onto my nose.
‘A little bit of rain’ plead some – knowing that in our area the rainy season can go on and on until you wish you could just take a boat, row out to beyond where there is no rain.
‘It’s not rainy season yet,’ my husband says, yet it whispers, some would say a little too loudly, to us that it is on the way.
Others long for the rain as it brings a green coat to our surroundings and helps the healing of the rain forest. They know rain is a double edged sleet of weaponry that can both create and destroy. They know that the builders who repair the houses, and the roads, post Yasi, race the rain.
I call on the metaphor of rain when I am missing bananas, friends, and need a day to spiritually centre. I long for its damp cooling power that takes away the heat that burns.
Often before the rain it’s sticky beyond belief, making you just want to peel your skin off, if that were possible, but still your bones would feel the humidity.
I call on rain, when the world is dusty, dry and full of drought, but just enough – but you know – not too much or too little. But rain is not an ingredient in life that I can control. It is not part of a recipe where all weather mixes to please the people.
I banish rain, when it makes the paddocks a sea, and farmers come out to move cows and horses to higher ground, when it decides a crop will be drowned and swept into nothingness, and never make it to a supermarket shelf. I wish it to the far ends of earth and wonder why it can’t make its way to a desert where it would be welcome. Rain doesn’t have logic or a will like that. I must be a fool to think it so.
I banish rain, when it cuts off the roads, and means I can only facebook or telephone for sociability and wish I had gone to the supermarket and brought a few more supplies.
I banish rain, when it floods to the point where people are perched on the top of their houses, just wishing rain would flow away down the drains or helicopters would arrive to pick them up. This hasn’t happened to us yet, thankfully.
I banish rain, when it’s cut off the section of the road I want to drive down and I know I am not going to make it through the overflowing river, and must find a safe road to somewhere dry and restful until the rain passes its fury away. This is why we now own a 4WD.
Rain – I observe it, remember it, live in it, and sometimes rejoice in it. The rain can heal, green, and cause my heart to dance like Ginger and Fred in old black and white movies. I wish I could send the rain down south where the fires are.
When rain has been gone too long, and the world is parched and needs an elixir, and waterfalls are tiny trickles, then rain is welcome. Rain is my friend.
I know then I am lucky to live in the land of rain.
This has appeared at ABC Open.