Monday, January 22, 2007

Storm Over Singapore

The humidity seeps into and out of everything. From out of the lowering sky. Out of the damp ground and dark foliage. The light gray sky of the morning has given over to an angry gray which is hanging like a curtain and being drawn across the jungle horizon. The sun has long vanished although its background effect is to add a silver sheen and gold mist to that curtain. Thunder crackles in the distance and the roof over the shelter creaks in anticipation of being hit. The temperate seems to rise and the roof complains some more. As if in placation a few large, warm and soft drops bounce of the roof and scatter to the ground.

The rim of gold suffused cloud rips apart and the mirror flat reservoir of water in front of us loses its steel grey stillness as the rain dances off its surface. The thunder clumps a bit closer and in the distance continues to crackle as the wall of water makes its steady way towards us. The one or two vanguard drops become a scattering of drops and anyone still in the open head to shelter. Behind us the monkeys leave their foraging and climb into the trees, pausing every now and then to look up and check the sky. Or to check a fellow is not in their sheltered spot.

Distracted by the churning reservoir, the noise of the rain approaching us is initially lost. But soon it is unmistakable as it hammers the jungle foliage off to our right. Drilling down hard the sound of rain becomes as noisy as that on a tin roof but still there is no deluge over us. But you can hear it coming and the rising crescendo creates an anticipation that everyone can feel. The monkeys are now well hidden under leaves and branches. I can see the tail of one hanging out from under some leaves. Suddenly the drumming rain is on us and we are caught up in the silence it demands. There is too much noise for sensible conversation and all you can do is be lost in the effect of it all. Thundering rain, sheeting across the reservoir, the lawn, the mud, bouncing off the canopy above us and creating a small storm of leaves, petals and twigs that are dislodged and float to the ground. A stream of rain runs off the roof of our little shelter in a steady curtain of water and runs away downhill.

In a few moments the wall is past us. The noise of approaching rain on leaves is now the noise of departing rain and it slowly subsides into the distance. The canopy continues to shower water and foliage, and monkeys are triggers for the same as a scattered family uses the respite to regroup. The thunder continues to rumble and the silver clouds and golden mist wash around us and the hills. But it is safe to get back to the car, wipe most of the mud from off our shoes and get on to our next appointment.



3 comments:

RUTH said...

this brought back memories for me of being a child in Singapore. My Dad was in the British army and we lived there for 3 years and went to the army school at the barracks. The monsoons were like nothing I'd ever seen before. Met my first cockroach there too!! Loved the chit-chats..the little lizards would run all over the walls. I learnt to swim in the sea at Changai beach......a lifetime ago now.

eastcoastlife said...

aaahhhh! You were here at the time of the rainy season. Must have been a dampener, huh? The wet weather.
When it's hot, its very hot. Imagine being in an oven.

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