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.

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.

It’s off to Town I go

Tully Town – June Perkins

Once a week I take our car (we are a one vehicle family and no it’s not the picture above that’s another of my favourite activities looking for pictures in Tully and elsewhere) and head off into Tully or on other adventures.   Here is an account of one typical day in town.  Ironically as I share this account the kids AFL carnival in Cairns has just been cancelled by rain and all the kids are on their way back on the bus.  That’s the wet season for you!

A typical day visit into Tully town includes visiting my friends working at their shops or at their homes.  I enjoy these visits and they are a welcome break from writing and project work at the confines of my computer.

Gift Shop –  J. and I discuss whether I should photograph her sister’s wedding- she’d like me to do it and gives me her sister’s phone number.  I have never done a wedding before and am a bit nervous, but I’d so love the opportunity.  Will I or wont I?  I have given them some other local photographer’s names.

M – at the library I borrow different sized books and then M. discusses what librarians look for in a book; I file away this information to take into account when I am working out my size dimensions.  I really have to get onto my quotes.

Visit to J… – discussion of her submission to the Smile Within project, people are the most important thing… life of service, but a creative writer too, who friends tell me did very well at school.  She is off to a conference on residential places for retirees.

Photo Shop – They have some wood for my exhibition photographs to be mounted on and will save any as it comes in.  Like many in photography they like me like to be behind the camera.  I think B. would write a great photography blog, we always have interesting discussion,   –can’t wait for their housewarming, it’ll be awesome!

Scrap booking shop – I pick up a contribution to the exhibition – and chat to two people in doing an art workshop with A. they are making some interesting stuff.  Looking forward to reading what A. has written.  One of the ladies doing art is a mum of a child my kid used to go to school with.    A. is interested to read my project blog for smile within.

I visit C.  She asks how did the trip to Brisbane go? She returns the consent form for my upcoming exhibition ( I lose my keys, but have put them in my camera bag what a dag!)  C. is my driving mentor extraordinaire – and she is a great and caring mother to her kids.   Devoted and dedicated – a real backbone to her family.

Back home to Murray Upper and then back in to town – taking my son to AFL footy training – how he loves his sport!!!  We run into some more parents – some fellow teachers, and one from my son’s school.  The kids are all excited about AFL.  It is pouring but their coach takes them to the oval to play anyway – no stopping for rain! Hooray a sport where you just keep on making the effort.  It rains up here so much.  Well that’s life.

(c) June Perkins

Wet Season Arrives?

Murray Falls – June Perkins

A break from the writeup of the Brisbane Adventure, due to the arrival of the wet season.

Will the wet season arrive?  Will we dodge cyclone warnings?  Will we be flooded in?

This is a time to wake each day and listen to the radio whilst having breakfast, because announcements about non-accessible roads are inevitable.  North Queensland Tropical city and country living is punctuated by the wet season.  Although this year we have as a community been debating if it’s going to happen as it seems to have been unusually dry.

This morning David, my husband, woke up to the sound of the pounding rain, was on his way to check the bom site when the phone rang, and the Principal of the school we live next to asked how the roads were looking near us.

David then drove off to check the roads and came home with a report of where the water was over.  There were still some roads open and the road to Tully was open.  It was looking like going to work at highschool was going to happen.

This was followed by a call from the bus driver, saying so far so good, they would be running so a normal day was on the cards. However, this was shortly followed by a call from the bus driver again – saying, no the roads are looking dodgy and waters are rising fast we won’t be running the buses.

Next step in this wet season saga is that David then becomes a primary school teacher for the day, as well as having to plan his lessons for the day at the high school.  He phones the Vice Principal at the high school to let him know the situation as well as his staff room to pass on lesson plans.

Before long parents rock up to our door step to check he will be teaching and drop their kids off at school; it looks like no other staff will be in and so our youngest son will let Dad know the routines of the day.  He has a few tips from the Principal –but she has been away for two weeks on long service leave and is not sure what the kids are up to.

I make lunches for David and my two kids who will be heading to the Primary School.

Our youngest and our daughter, who’s in the first year of high school, are off to the Primary school with their Dad.   Youngest is excited to have Dad teaching for the day with no real set program.    His Dad is a talented teacher and can think on his feet, this should stand him in good stead today.  I think though perhaps he is wondering how many kids he will actually have and thinking back to what works best with primary school kids as he is high school trained.

The Principal is not coming in, as her road may be cut off, and if buses don’t run she is advised not to head to the school, and it seems unlikely any other staff are going to be able to make it in either as they live down side roads that are flooded in on days like this.

Our Eldest decides to stay home and work on an assignment.   I am working on an exhibition and have loads to do.  I might just check how they are all going later.  The exact number of children arriving today is an unknown factor.

My daughter pops home to pick up Dad’s glasses – as he can’t leave the school being the only staff member there.

So how else do people approach the wet season?

The rained in days can become days of reflection, and meditation – to celebrate the wet tropics.  They can be places of a comma or full stop in life – a time to take a breath before moving on with normal routines.

Yesterday we went to observe a waterfall awash with so much water from rain it was majestic.  The leaves of the plants and trees on the way to the waterfall were all glossy and green with the rainwater sheen.    They looked like they had been varnished.   It was refreshing to escape from the indoors to enjoy the rain.  Wet seasons are what they are and as long as you are prepared for the adventures and full stops you cope just fine.

Our kid’s sneakers were wet, and headed for the dryer when we arrived home to be ready for the morning adventures.

Now back to today – the rain has cheekily stopped, but the day is set, and until 3pm David is a primary school teacher.

Wet,wet,wet – June Perkins