women-writers-mentorshipI love the rain- especially at night. I love the soft pattering of feet on my roof as the raindrops fall. I love the soft, rolling waves the rain arrives in. At one point it might rain very hard, but then it gently retreats, before resuming again in a few minutes. It pulls out like a wave pulling back from the shore, but then it slowly rolls in again, pat-pat-pattering on my roof once more. I love the fresh, rich and exhilarating aroma of moist soil and lush greenery. It brings me dreams full of emerald rainforests, with dappled sunlight sparkling through the foliage of the trees, and soft, spongy ground cover. I love the warm, cozy feeling it gives me. It makes me snuggle into my blanket even more. It helps me sleep, that rain. If I’m stressed or having trouble sleeping, I just listen to the soft droplets of rain and its swells and retreats. I’ll slowly doze off to sleep into peaceful dreams, leaving this Earth behind…

But last night’s rain wasn’t the soft pat-pat-pattering of the raindrops falling in rolling, gentle waves from the sky. Last night’s rain wasn’t soothing, or peaceful. Last night’s rain wasn’t a soft rhythm, or a gentle lullaby playing above my head. Last night’s rain wasn’t my friend who helped me to sleep. Last night’s rain didn’t give me a warm, delicious feeling like butter melting on toast, or a marshmallow foaming in a hot chocolate. Instead, it smashed through my dreams, jolting me awake. It was a loud intruder of my sleep and a harsh ending to my forest fantasies. They were raindrops that were angry, harsh rocks, threatening to punch holes through my roof. Instead of smooth, gentle waves of rain from the sky, the rain came down in sheets, torrents and it bucketed down. It beat down on my roof, getting increasingly stronger, with no sign of ceasing. It rained and rained until it felt like something was pounding my head in. My head started to throb and my brain ached from all the noise. I could feel the biting coldness of the rain creeping into my bones and I shivered as I pulled the blanket tighter over me.

The monstrous downpour smashed and punched and hit my roof before alarmingly stopping. It seemed as if God had suddenly turned off the tap because there was no sound at all except for the dripping of water from the gutters. I snuggled into my blanket and listened to that soft dripping of rainwater, ready to nod back off to sleep again. And then, without warning, it resumed again, banging and bashing once more onto my roof. I expect sleep to come quickly when it rains at night. But the loud, boisterous torrent of raindrops caused me to toss and turn all night ‘till daybreak. And when I crawl out of bed the next morning, the sky is now a bleak, oppressive gray sheet above us.

I shiver and pull on some socks and a jumper, but I’m still shivering in the cold. In my backyard, half our lawn is flooded and there are pools of water on my carport swept in by the wind. The tiny mango flowers that were happily blooming the day before are gone. As well as the white pawpaw flowers and furry navele flowers. The banana trees outside our verandah are bent in half. As well as the few manioc trees we had and the wooden sticks the yam vines were growing on. On the radio, the farmers complain about their ruined crops and injured or missing livestock. All broken, damaged, or lost. 


And it’s not even cyclone season.