When Nature Reminds You That You Really Aren’t the Boss

Mother nature. That thing. Sometimes, you love it, sometimes, you just can’t…

1 Here’s a scenario: You are a very lazy person who doesn’t like to wash. Day after day, sometimes weeks, you watch your washing pile up, but can’t ever gather up that drive to get it done with already.

And then, one day, you feel a burst of productive energy. “Let me do this washing,” you say to yourself, after which you cut open that new bag of Sunlight washing powder that should have been finished two weeks ago, if you’d been responsible, and through a really strategic economisation of pegs, you managed to was and hang EVERYTHING. That night, you go to bed with peace in your heart.

You wake up to a relentless shower, which looks like all the rains of the previous month combined.

In case you can’t tell what happens after this, let me just tell you your reaction: you cri evritiem.

2 Just when we thought we’d beaten the sun, what with the invention of photochromic spectacles, we the victims of myopia were in for a nasty shock: rain. You just can’t beat that thing.

No, just think about it. Already, you can’t see far. Then rain, which already impairs normal people’s vision, comes to impair yours again – exponentially! And even though your glasses have found a way to beat the sun, it decides not to shine. It’s like preparing so hard for a test, then having the teacher forget he was going to conduct it. As3m b3n ni?

So, you find yourself walking through life with a windshield in front of your eyes, sans the wipers. The. Freaking. Struggle.

3 This is not a rain issue. It is, however, largely to do with washing.

You ought to congratulate me anytime I’m washing something earlier than the night before I need to wear it. This weekend, I had washed my school skirt, fine-fine. My too-known, I didn’t remove it from the line. Monday was a holiday, so on Monday night, proud of myself for being ready before time, I went to the drying line and picked up my skirt.

Lo and behold, a glorious large splotch of something brown, crusty and dried glared at me from the bottom right of the front of the skirt. All I have to say to that bird is this: of all the clothes you could have released your no doubt majestic droppings on…why my skirt? Curse you.

Needless to say, late that night, I was washing.

 -Yours in Laziness and Misfortune,

Akoto

Rain

I happen to be irrefutably in love with stormy weather, something you might have guessed from reading my post from last week (find it here).

I wrote this a few months ago, while it was raining. It’s raining now, so I see it fit to post it now.

 

Rain

            She sat beside her window, and stared out at the gently rippling water in the pool, now gray as graphite, reflecting the dull, mirthless colour of the sky. Usually, it could stay like this for hours, the heavens projecting a melancholic sense of foreboding and wrath withheld, but indecision about whether or not the Celestials wanted to have their revenge on mankind or not. The depression it threatened was so intense it had to give way to pure excitement. Darkness, blackness, shades of gray all became very appealing in a matter of seconds, and sparked within her a desire she knew well.

Thunder. The exhilarating growl of heaven’s very own wild cat —the rainstorm’s mascot—reverberated through the house. The water itself seemed to rise and fall at the sound. Restless now, she was unable to remain at her seat any longer. She stood and stretched out in a lunge, her feet in fourth position and her arms in third, poised as though she were about to do a pirouette.

Lightning. The almost-black sky split for a half-second into two, in the precise shape of Zeus’ master lightning bolt —a beam of sheer brilliance zigzagging across the sky in less than the time it would take you to blink. In synchronization with the sky’s parting, she released the tension from her back leg and did a perfect pirouette en dehors, landing in exactly the same position she began in; calm and still as though she had never moved, like a praying mantis, just as the sky above pretended to be.

Finally, the rain. This time, it was not just a warning. The Higher-Ups had decided to put on the real show. The rain fell in torrents. Moving to the harsh pitter-patter of rain, she danced around the room, leaping, soaring, flying, turning, whirling and blowing all her troubles away. Nothing mattered but being one with nature’s fury. The disastrous weather sucked away her frustration and made it its own, leaving her with nothing but fierce joy and peace once more.

At last, it relented, giving out to something that was slightly more forceful than a drizzle. She took a deep breath, close her eyed and turned around.

When she opened them again, he was standing there, with his arms crossed, and his phone in one palm. How long had he been watching?

“Only God knows how you didn’t end up in the theater or on Broadway,” he said. She smiled. “Oh no, I mean it,” he continued. “That was beautiful…breathtaking…stupendous. I was stunned by your splendour and gracefulness as you danced…without music, I might add. Don’t worry, I know how much you fall in love with nature when it rains.”

He paused. She waited. There was more.

Eventually it came: “In other news,” he added, “I just woke up, and everything you washed this morning is now drenched with dirty, acidic rain water. I just thought I’d inform you so…yeah.” He grinned wickedly. She sighed. Reality had returned.

Akotowaa

Have You Ever Seen A Storm With The Lights Off?

Have you ever seen a rainstorm with the lights off? Well I did yesterday. And it was unbelievable.

Last night, there was a blackout. People had exams the next day. Naturally, there were many shouts and curses. The wind was still. The heat was intense. Naturally, the heat had to break.

I walked outside to hear rain pattering on the roof next to me, but shelterless, in the open, I felt nothing. The rain was falling in a straight line, and I was centimeters from it, on the dry side. I tried to tell people, but it’s amazing how many humans don’t care about cool things like this.

With the lack of artificial light, the luminescence of the waning, gibbous moon was evident, shining so brightly that standing outside, in open space, you could see your shadow. The center of the moon’s light in the sky was red, but farther away, you could see rain clouds in a sky that was neither black nor indigo, but a lightening violet. Again, it’s amazing how many people don’t care enough to just shut up and stare.

The electricity flashed on and off again maybe three times, but I liked it best when the lights were out.

As other people rushed for the safe darkness of their rooms, I remained outside on the veranda, upstairs in my hostel, and I was there when the storm actually started; exposed enough to feel the elements fractionally as they wreaked havoc on tranquility, but protected enough not to be wreaked havoc on. I was smiling like an idiot. These orchestrations of nature get me illogically excited. I promised myself to write about it, hence the words you’re reading now.

I was with a friend called Deborah. Here’s a funny occurrence: She began to ask me, “Have you ever just been scared of being struck by —” Interrupting her was a simultaneous crack of thunder and flash of quasi-daylight-inducing — yep, you guessed it — “lightning,” she finished weakly, and we both burst out laughing. Nature is chock-full of jokes. Nevertheless, I decided to attribute it to her and pronounced her Ewe. (Please ooh, she’s not actually Ewe.)

Watching the storm, I entertained thoughts of science — how water evaporates from the earth’s surface and waterbodies and condenses into clouds; Poseidon—getting angry over the parched seas that comprise his territory, vowing to return that condensed vapour back where it belonged, hence the downpour; and Zeus, god of the sky, showing off his power with his master lightning bolt, just because he can; and maybe a rogue minotaur or sphinx, growling out thunder from a cage up in Olympus. You might think me a maniac, but this mythology obsession I have isn’t half as bad as it used to be.

In truth, the whole storm felt apocalyptic, and despite this and all the fantasies about the Greek gods, the thoughts that were most prominent in my mind were ones about my own God, capital G, the only one who could do all these at once, the Conductor of an almost-natural disaster’s wild, grand symphony. To me, every piece of nature that I am too captivated to stop admiring is a reminder of His obvious existence and power, and I suppose that’s why I get uncontrollably happy.

The lightning made the grass look as green as the sun ever could. The amplified thunder was music to my ears. And the rain? It was a paradox of physics. It fell as drizzle, and it fell as solid sheets. It fell like a white waterfall of liquid and it blew like gray vapour, diagonally, spraying me and getting me cold. Did I care that through the window, it was wetting my bedroom floor? Ha! Ask yourself that question. Did I care for that singular line of someone’s unfortunate underwear getting drenched? Maybe I should have…but I didn’t.

Later, when I went back inside, I realized I’d been holding a bottle of water the whole time. I also realized that its temperature was as if it had been in the fridge for an hour. But who needs electricity when you have hydro, lightning-electric power?

And I will end by sharing a corny, ridiculous joke I came up with a long while ago:

Why do people use the expression “the air was charged with electricity”?
—Because the sky has a lightning cable.

(Sorry if you people who know nothing about Apple devices don’t get it.) =)

-With maximum love to everyone who bothered to read the whole thing,
Ivana.