07 August 2006


Last night we had a real, honest-to-goodness, thunderstorm. It rained for at least half an hour, probably longer.

I was in bed at the time, but since I tend to just lie there awake for at least two hours every night (I still haven't got myself adjusted to a schedule) I happened to be awake when the storm came up.

When I was walking back to the tent from my shower I noticed that the moon, although almost full, wasn't visible anywhere. There were a few bright clouds in the sky, but it looked like the sky was clear with just these few clouds, which were obscuring the moon. Quite an interesting illusion; the few bright clouds I could see were actually just the thin patches in the cloud cover, where the moonlight was visible. Just as I was getting into the tent I saw lightning flash across the sky.

Still, there's been dry lightning here before; it is, after all, a very dry country. I lay in bed and read for half an hour or so, and when I turned out the light and closed my eyes I listened to the wind pick up, and then the first few tentative raindrops on the vinyl of the tent. I assumed that was all there would be. The rain stopped. The wind kept blowing. Minutes passed. I idled away the time thinking about things I plan to do when I get home.

Then there was a tremendous clap of thunder. It was so loud, and so close, it sounded like an airplane had crashed at the airport a few hundred yards north. I was just assuring myself it was thunder when the rain started—-just a little, light rain, and then a drizzle, and then rain, and then a downpour. And then it was raining so hard I wondered whether the tent might cave in.

This sort of rain went on for twenty minutes or more, and then slowly died away. I fell asleep while it was still raining softly.

If it rained every night like that… well, this would be a very different place, for starters, but I might get some halfway decent sleep, too.

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