A Night Time Thunderstorm (by Mands)
Restless, disturbed sleep, tossing in the sticky heat of the tent. Too hot to have anything touching my sweaty skin, let alone have the synthetic sleeping bag on top. My consciousness wakens, more from a sense than a sound, until my foggy brain recognises the distant but encroaching rumblings. The sky is lead-like, groaning from the heavy load it carries, desperate to burst apart and break the terrible tension. I want it too, in a small way – a rainstorm would relieve me of this sleepless wrangle. But already I recognise the ominous rumbles in the sky as being far more serious than a refreshing down pour. This storm that is stomping its way toward us is angry. The sky booms louder in deep throaty outbursts. The wind lends its support to the fury and blows up strongly, without any warning, without any apology. It too is furious and it is scary. Now I realise the trouble we are in! Torches outside light up around the tent: on-off, on-off, on-off. But there is no one outside; the flashing light comes from the sky. It is another accomplice in this imminent raging storm that is about to wash our tents away. I am fully conscious now and worried for the children in another tent. Will they be fearful? The thunder is louder and the lightening brighter and the wind stronger than they have ever experienced before. And all there is between the rampaging elements and ourselves is a piece of nylon, which right now is fighting for its life to stay pegged into the ground!
Then suddenly I feel calm. I remember to relax, not to resist, to tell myself that All Is Well. I know somewhere deep in my Being that we are protected and even as the first bursts of raindrops splat against the tent – slowly at first, then faster and heavier and more solidly – I have a strange feeling that we’ll be all right.
The crescendo lasts a mere five minutes – but it is emotionally exhausting experiencing so much anticipation and excitement of a true tropical rainstorm. Incredibly, the eye of the storm decides to bypass our solitary campsite just in the nick of time. It takes the thunder and the lightening and the wind and all its fury elsewhere. I am filled with relief and gratitude. Moreover, the air has cleared and I crawl into my sleeping bag no longer listless, contentedly acknowledging that we have been spared a wet and uncomfortable night! Sleep comes easily.