Rain, I Write it, Live in it

flood 045
Rain – I write it, live in it, love it and sometimes fear it and want to escape.

Like it or not, it’s an inescapable part of North Queensland life.

Rain can flood, trap, enclose and invite pieces of writing from within.

Rain refreshes, reminds and reflects moods.

I taste the rain and all it touches when I walk through the rainforest.  I see the world in the drops that creep across a licuala leaf and plop onto my nose.

 ‘A little bit of rain’ plead some – knowing that in our area the rainy season can go on and on until you wish you could just take a boat, row out to beyond where there is no rain.

‘It’s not rainy season yet,’ my husband says, yet it whispers, some would say a little too loudly, to us that it is on the way.

Others long for the rain as it brings a green coat to our surroundings and helps the healing of the rain forest.  They know rain is a double edged sleet of weaponry that can both create and destroy.  They know that the builders who repair the houses, and the roads, post Yasi, race the rain.

I call on the metaphor of rain when I am missing bananas, friends, and need a day to spiritually centre.  I long for its damp cooling power that takes away the heat that burns.

tropical garden

Often before the rain it’s sticky beyond belief, making you just want to peel your skin off, if that were possible, but still your bones would feel the humidity.

I call on rain, when the world is dusty, dry and full of drought, but just enough – but you know – not too much or too little.  But rain is not an ingredient in life that I can control.  It is not part of a recipe where all weather mixes to please the people.

I banish rain, when it makes the paddocks a sea, and farmers come out to move cows and horses to higher ground, when it decides a crop will be drowned and swept into nothingness, and never make it to a supermarket shelf.  I wish it to the far ends of earth and wonder why it can’t make its way to a desert where it would be welcome.  Rain doesn’t have logic or a will like that.  I must be a fool to think it so.
floods

I banish rain, when it cuts off the roads, and means I can only facebook or telephone for sociability and wish I had gone to the supermarket and brought a few more supplies.

I banish rain, when it floods to the point where people are perched on the top of their houses, just wishing rain would flow away down the drains or helicopters would arrive to pick them up. This hasn’t happened to us yet, thankfully.

I banish rain, when it’s cut off the section of the road I want to drive down and I know I am not going to make it through the overflowing river, and must find a safe road to somewhere dry and restful until the rain passes its fury away.  This is why we now own a 4WD.

Rain – I observe it, remember it, live in it, and sometimes rejoice in it.  The rain can heal, green, and cause my heart to dance like Ginger and Fred in old black and white movies. I wish I could send the rain down south where the fires are.

When rain has been gone too long, and the world is parched and needs an elixir, and waterfalls are tiny trickles, then rain is welcome.  Rain is my friend.

I know then I am lucky to live in the land of rain.

Nature walkers
This post can also be found at ABC Open’s Like it Or Not, 500 Words.  

Head over there to read more about inspiring ways people have overcome obstacles.

Backyard Dreaming

Family Rituals is the next theme for ABC Open’s 500 Words. Thinking of summer coming up and family – I couldn’t help but think and write of our many games of cricket!

What are your family rituals?

Cricket  - A Family Ritual
Cricket – A Family Ritual – June Perkins

 

Backyard waits.

The lawn’s mowed to resemble the perfect cricket green of our imagination.

Bats out.

Reality.  We gather stumps, make shift – they might be a bin, or plastic wickets, or even more up market free standing metal ones.

Next each family member is called, usually loudly and persuasively by youngest, whose life calling is in this ritual.

It’s late afternoon, he knows better than to try in the midst of Queensland heat.

Hats on, sunscreen even for the late hour, and out we go.

‘Who’ll bat first?’

Not their Dad, he’ll slog it too much and make us run all over, although he also bats deliberate catches when he’s had enough allotted time at the crease and needs to quench his thirst.

Eldest loves to bowl.  He’s even filmed his brother and his own bowling actions so both can improve.  He will bowl fast and hard, because he’s training youngest.  No easy balls from him.

I picture the Waugh brothers putting each other through their paces.

It can be serious stuff this backyard cricket.

Fielders into position, youngest into bat.  Eldest bowls.  No mercy, but youngest is gaining talent day by day, and he can bat when the going is tough, later he will have a great day batting at the super eights in primary.  ‘Thanks big bro,’ he will say.

Mum (that’s me) positioned with camera for a capture of this classic ritual but ready to set it down for a catch, maybe.

Then it’s Dad batting against bowling eldest son, and there’s a true battle on.  He’s determined to have his Dad out.

‘Give it your best son!’

It’s on for young and old.

Youngest children are spectators now and I am sole fielder.

Hubby slogs it, grins – and eldest paces back, Lillee like, to his run up.  The ritual is repeated.  Each child has a bowl to him, but it’s a field day.  One day they’ll have him out!

Daughter varies, sometimes she’s in for the game and other times she’s doing something more interesting in the garden, like filling a bucket with water, what’s she up to, the mind boggles.

Now she’s called to attention, ‘grab that ball.’

Little Athletics was short lived for her; she just liked playing in the long jump/ sand/ pit too much.

There’s variations on this ritual – now we head of to the beach, and the scene is played out again, but this time there’s soft sand, ocean and people walking their dogs, who sometimes like to field.

At times there’s additional family members on visits, after long absences from grandchildren’s lives.

Again I am poised with camera, until called to the crease, to enjoy slogging the ball, and having my kids dart, crab like, everywhere on the sand.

Poppy’s into it, enjoying building the drama.  He keeps spare tennis balls in his shirt pocket, for when others end up out too far in the ocean.

Daughter is not left out; she takes to the crease, and does her best. Poppy’s a gentle bowler.  Now she’s also keen to bowl.  She’s working to perfect her technique.

Now she’s attempting fielding, but not for long, soon the bucket is being filled with goodies to make into art when she arrives home.

Dreaming.

For a moment we play heroes like Watson,  Ponting, O’Donnell, Lillee and Marsh.  We are beyond the backyard, beyond cricket hero boundary times– and on perfect cricket greens.

‘Howzat’

You can catch this post at ABC Open    

For more on the ABC 500 Word Project Head to ABC Open, and check out all the other rituals that families have.