October 27, 2010 at 5:42 am (Uncategorized)

Right now I’m in the sunroom working on next month’s Varuna feature. After a beautiful day, which included an ocean dip for yours truly, an afternoon thunderstorm is now breaking. Though I am by the beach, the release of humidity smells unmistakably like tilled soil rather than the salt of the sea. It is the olfactory equivalent of freshness, this earthy perfume, and it makes all my senses tingle in tandem with the rapidly dropping temperature.

I have the bi-fold doors open to the courtyard, so as the rain begins falling heavily, the precipitation pregnant with all that hot, heavy air, the scent of the storm keeps rushing across the sandstone pavers, tripping across the old tessellated tiles and coming to rest by planting cool kisses on my bare feet. A flash of lightning is subdued, almost wholly absorbed by the white grey skies, which rumble and growl overhead before the sound moves on.

I love afternoon thunderstorms. Sydney’s are often spectacular. This one feels a little gentler, there’s a wafting quality to it, but sometimes they are terrifying in their ferocity, and I find myself flinching and scurrying, racing for cover, undignified and scared, nothing more at these times than a reprimanded mortal fleeing the violent admonishments of easily angered gods.

And just like that, it ends. The rain has stopped, the clouds are dispersing, and the sun is mounting a determined defence. Outside, the sandstone is already drying.



  1. Annah said,

    A beautiful piece of writing to read between my current contractions. Gorgeous visuals, smells and cosy sounds for me to concentrate on…thanks. I love an afternoon storm too. Well, back to my contractions…

    • doctordi said,

      Oh my god!!! I was thinking of you only this morning, Annah – I couldn’t recall exactly how far ahead of me you were, but I thought it had to be close! Are they REAL contractions??!!! Are you in actual labour??!! Wow! W-O-W – let me know what happens next! Actually I want a full report – but you’re excused from that since I doubt you’re much in the mood to write a blow-by-blow!

      How exciting! GOOD LUCK!!!! I’ll be thinking of you!

    • doctordi said,

      It’s Thursday morning now, and I WONDER WHAT’S HAPPENING???!!!

  2. socksinmypocket said,

    It was a wonderful storm, wasn’t it. We threw open all the windows in our office. I’m off to Varuna tomorrow, just for a 30 minute meeting. I’ve never been there before and can’t wait!

    • doctordi said,

      Yes, it was lovely. Tthe sunroom comes close to being my favourite, because with the doors pushed all the way back, it’s like being outside and under cover at the same time – absolutely ideal for thunderstorm conditions!

      Ooooh, do enjoy Varuna, socksinmypocket! And please say hello to the place for me. What a shame you’re not staying!

  3. litlove said,

    Ohhhh, we haven’t had a storm in AGES and I do love them. Sounds marvellous!

    • doctordi said,

      I’m rapidly getting the impression this is going to be a cracking (arf arf) season for them here… they’re predicting a scorching summer for us, which always means pretty beaut storms!

  4. Mark Welker said,

    I had the opportunity to be in Sydney over night yesterday where it was sunny and the skies were boasting. It felt like being home in Perth. I do like a good storm though.

    • doctordi said,

      Sydney skies are often boastful, Mark, you’re absolutely spot on. I’m glad to think of Sydney being a Perth proxy, allowing you a place to refuel on sunshine before heading back to Melbourne. Yes, don’t we all love a good storm? You guys over on the west coast must see some doozies.

  5. Lilian Nattel said,

    A lovely description and I esp appreciate it heading into winter.

    • doctordi said,

      I imagine your having an open fire, Lilian – do you? If so, then warm your thoughts with that prospect – I know from my own experience that nothing’s ever so cheering as a roaring fire on a cold Canadian night.

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