Story telling from Australia
Rain is lashing the coast but here in Broken Hill it’s been weeks, months without rain. Not proper rain. There’s been the odd drop, an occasional day when clouds have formed, even days when I could smell rain in the distance, a tantalising musky sweetness falling elsewhere, a rumble of thunder, a dry lightning strike. But no rain. The lawn is scorched, weeds have withered and my vegetable garden is gasping.
Lakes in the desert have shrivelled into cracked dry earth. Funny what people throw in; an old boot, two tractor tyres, a miner’s helmet and a coat are stranded in the one I walk Maggie around. She pads across the pitted surface to examine the spoils. Pity the poor kangaroos and emus searching for a drop to drink.
Last night Maggie barked, the shocked, ragged bark that thunder always elicits, and I listened. Nothing. Then this morning a single ping hit the flat iron roof, followed by another, and another, gathering speed like an old fashioned pianola until there was a symphony of drenching, squelching, drumming, soaking rain, doing more for the garden in half an hour than weeks of sprinklers and trickle systems. Puddles have formed, gutters are flowing and leaves are dripping. It’s still falling now. I stand at the window watching, knowing snails will be pushing their antlers through the wet shadows heading for my strawberry patch.
They’re welcome. This rain is worth it.