It’s a beautiful summers day, the sun streaming down in hot rays, kissing the earth with light and warmth. Lush green leaves sparkle in the sunlight, drifting lazily from side to side in the gentle breeze. Birds sing happily to each other while bees hum their way through the flowers in the garden, taking only what they need, leaving a beautiful pollen smell as they go. The sky is a pale blue, dotted with white cotton wool clouds forming shapes of rabbits, dinosaurs and indeterminable images.
Without warning, the sky darkens, thick grey clouds, rushing across, obscuring any hint of blue that was. The wind rises from a gentle breeze to a howling gust, roughing up everything in it’s sight. It’s a cold wind, which warrants shutting the windows. It makes no difference to the sound, a whistling at the door and a rattling of the windows, a surround sound experience.
An electric white light flickers across the sky, blindingly bright against the dull grey. Moments later a low rumbling follows, the sound ascending in volume, rolling louder and louder, like an air plane making it’s way across the sky, yet there are no planes in sight.
Lightening and thunder argue with each other, back and forth, the sky lit up briefly, flickering Morse code, only to be told off, long and loud, seconds later by the thunder. The lightening undeterred, continues it’s mission, getting closer as more definition shows in it’s shape. No longer lighting up the entire sky, white forks now splayed quickly across the clouds, turning the grey to an eerie purple in the process.
Excitement rises inside me, the electricity of the lightening awakening my senses, a tingling sensation in my skin of expectation. The smell of warm concrete cooling rapidly permeating my nose, the thunder keeping me alert. I stare captivated out the window, my eagerness rising at what is to come.
The wind picks up. Leaves fall from the trees, tumbling haphazardly to the ground, only to be lifted up again, dancing their way across the yard. The rattling of the windows intensifies, as if urgently trying to get inside, away from the extreme harsh outside world, some of the breeze making it’s way through the gaps in the panes. A loud gunshot like crack and flash of white penetrates the air, lightening and thunder finally reaching an agreement.
The sky opens up, small white drops of ice dropping heavily to the ground, bouncing back up before settling again. Clink, clink, clink on the roof as the hail pelts down, increasing in frequency and size, white marbles of ice, dancing on the lawn, blanketing it in a textured white within moments.
I can no longer hear the thunder over the hail on the roof, the clinking is now a constant boom as hundreds of large balls of hail bounce off the roof in unison before plunging further to the ground below. Leaves whirl around the sky, above the rooftops, all around the yard as the wind reaches gale force levels, thrashing against the windows, the panes vibrating with the pressure. I can see the fence opposite me straining against the strength of the wind. I hope it will hold.
The hail subsides to a heavy rainfall, the occasional white marble descending amongst it, still pounding on the roof, but losing it’s urgency rapidly. The wind decreases, the windows cease to rattle but I can still feel a draft coming through the cracks in the panes. The clouds are losing their dullness, becoming brighter with white as the sun tries to peek through.
The hail collected on the ground, partially hidden by the settling leaves is slowly being melted by each falling raindrop. The air is warming as the wind subsides rapidly, almost to no breeze at all. The clouds are parting, sunlight glimpsing through the cracks, sending streaks of light across the messy lawn. The rain stops and within minutes the only evidence of the storm is the mess of leaves, petals and other debris strewn chaotically across the yard. The birds start singing again, making their way from the safety of the trees to the lawn below, looking for worms that may have made their way to the surface with the water.
Just a typical Kiwi summers day really.