Story telling from Australia
A quarter of an inch of rain fell on Tuesday, half an inch on Wednesday and last night a torrent of more than two inches fell in under three hours. The broad beans were smashed, a large hole appeared under the front gatepost and the garage door no longer closes properly. But you know what? It was beautiful.
As dusk fell on Wednesday night the rain paused long enough for the sky to turn an eerie milk-white, lighting up every window on the northern side of the house and filling the rooms with a gentle presence that couldn’t help but make me smile.
Thousands of photographers rushed outside to capture images of a rare double rainbow that appeared in the sky above Sydney that night, but from our small sunken back yard the rainbow was barely a glimmer in the distance. The camera battery was flat, thank goodness, otherwise I suspect I might also have rushed out to try and find an open space, dashing along narrow streets to the nearest park in the hope of pinning that rainbow down.
Instead I stood outside and looked up at the sky, watching the world turn, occasionally pointing my phone at the unimaginable distance of space and darkening sky. It was ‘wondrous to behold’.
When the spectacle finished I looked down and there at my feet lay a fallen leaf, one of thousands at this time of year that litter the streets and pavements. I bent down and picked it up, and it was as magnificent in its small, perfectly formed way as anything I’d seen in the sky above.
I’ve tucked that leaf into my purse and occasionally I take it out, just to enjoy looking at it.
As next week’s winter solstice approaches and the shortest day beckons I marvel at the delicate beauty of that fragile leaf, veins etched against a flame of autumn colour.
It seems at its most beautiful, growing dry and brittle just before it crumbles.