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.