A Drenching In The Storm
As I sit here in the glorious sun, I think back to yesterday, and as one friend put it, the biblical rains which descended on this little part of the Netherlands. I am reminded of a time earlier in the year when predictions of biblical storms really came to nought and the local newspaper, Tubantia, were looking to interview someone who lived at the top of the tallest building in Twente, and experience the storm first hand.
Rain and thunderstorms were forecast yesterday, but they had been forecast the day before and came to nothing so I was confident that armed with my raincoat, all would be okay.
Shopping complete, eggs bought from the local egg-lady, and I started to make my way home.
Drops of rain came out of no-where; the sky still looked clear. Surely, I would make it home, but no, the drops turned into a downpour, and I sheltered under a large oak tree.
From the distance, I heard a lady calling to me. The kindest and sweetest lady in the world, was inviting me into her front porch and out of the rain. Her name is Annie, and we had a wonderful chat. She had had first-hand experience of trees falling unexpectedly in thunderstorms, and many years ago, her neighbour’s house had been set on fire by lightning, so she had reason to be cautious in a storm.
I waited until the rain passed and continued on my journey.
Three kilometres later, the rain started again but this time, heavier. I sheltered this time on a path at the back of girls’ school, trying in vain to keep my seat dry! My other hand, covering the electronic display on my bike which had only just been fixed that morning due to water damage…the irony at this point was not lost on me!
The rain started to ease, so after waiting 20 minutes, I thought I really should try and get home, but as I reached an underpass, God really was starting to get very angry.
Out of nowhere, my daughter passed me on her way home from school and was not inclined to shelter in the dry, so on we went.
But on approaching the next juncture it seemed we were very much in the eye of the storm: the winds really picked up and I was nearly blown off my bike.
I sheltered for a third time as my daughter continued. The rain was relentless. The sky was dark, oh so dark and the thunder and lightning coincided with alarming regularity. Water began to flood the road and the cycle path as I stood at the edge of the road, trying to shelter from the storm.
I prayed, yes, I did pray. I prayed for my daughter to get home safely. I prayed for the storm to stop, and I prayed for wisdom never to second guess the weather forecast again and to give greater respect to nature. I would leave enough time to complete my journey in future and yes, I really wished I was in a car.
By this time, my shoes were completely soaked — the water was rising through the soles, and I felt at one with the water, rather like a fish. My trousers were so wet, they became a second skin and as for my bike seat, thoughts of keeping it dry were long gone.
All I could do was rack my brain for verbs to describe how wet I was. Soaked and drenched seemed faintly inadequate when attempting to accurately describe the absolute battering my bike and I were taking from the storm.
I did eventually make it home and was greeted by my daughter, laden with clean towels.
The washing machine was on, my shoes were left out to dry, I was in the bath and thoughts of sweeping up the debris in the garden were left for another day.
All were home safely, and the weather gods had relented. Here’s hoping for slightly less excitement later today when rain is forecast yet again!