Saturday, July 11, 2009
a bit of rain
I am glad that I have been getting up nice and early to do my weeding in the sunshine before the day becomes too hot. Just an hour or so’s opportunity to cool off in the pool once my chores have been done before the sun disappears behind dark clouds and the first large spots of rain appear. The quiet of the hillside is slowly transformed by the sound of rain, quietly at first then louder and louder as the sky darkens and massive raindrops descend from the sky. Spouts of water leap from the tiled roof in an arcing trajectory, landing several feet away from the wall below, excavating great holes in the flower-beds and splashing the lavenders with mud and stones.
Its absolutely chucking it down again. Every afternoon for a couple of hours the heavens open. Lightening sparks the lights on in the house making the electricity points crackle and hiss and thunder crashes through the valley, shaking the windows and occasionally making the whole house jump. The meandering stream in the gorge at the back of the house has turned form a gently babbling flow with sun drenched boulders ready to sit on and cool ones feet into an angry thundering torrent, laden brown with eroded soil, crashing down over the boulders throwing up a haze of spume. The little irrigation channel, barely a trickle at the start of the week, overflowing with muddy, foamy water and pushing relentlessly on to wherever it flows, carrying with it all sorts of debris that it has picked up along the way.
It’ll clear by about five and the sun will shine through again. The promise of another glorious day in the Pyrenees tomorrow, but we have come to know that the promise is only good until lunchtime and then the heavens will open again. It happens sometimes, they tell me, a cycle of daily storms, it can go on for weeks and weeks, until an extraordinary high or some other event intervenes and the summer balance is reset. I hope so, because judging by the quantity of rocks and mud being washed off the mountainside, the hills will be flat and the mediterranean will be filed with sludge if this continues for much longer.