Spring storms blow in daily off the sea and soak the mounds of beach grass, our yard, and the garden below. I would be annoyed if I was in Ahipara to surf for just a few days, but I have time and the rain won’t last forever. Plus, it’s making everything incredibly green. The rainy days also create a great motivation to read and write like a fiend, do story research, and to connect with critique partners.
When the rain stopped for a brief window of time in the late afternoon, I took a walk on the beach, which means I walk through the garden, over a footbridge, through grassy mounds, and then wade across the River of Souls to get to sand. Normally the river at its deepest point is knee-deep, but, after raining all day, the river easily reached my upper thigh and moves swiftly. I hesitated for a minute, initially thinking about the headline “Stupid American Woman Attempts Crossing”, but decided, after a day inside, I need the wind in my face and the sand between my toes.
I usually walk south on the shore towards Shipwreck Bay, and count no more than three people. Today, I could have walked forever, but storm clouds were forming over the sea, with the sun peaking out between the gray as it descended in the sky. Best to turn back and cross the water before dusk. Before returning to the house, I discovered a giant squash plant growing in the garden. I don’t know what it will produce- looks similar to zucchini- but it has numerous orange blooms on it and loves the moisture. When the weather warms, I am hoping for lots of squash for dinner.
Once the sun set, the black over the ocean deepened, almost like an impenetrable wall that starts at the shore. The heavy rain clouds blocked any light from the sky, with a lone light in a house down the beach creating a distant yellow glow . I turned off all the lights in the house, pulled back the drapes, and stood at the window, watching, listening to the torrential downpour. The din on the roof was deafening, making it difficult to concentrate. The wind gusts created a howling around the house that sounded half- human. I loved it.
Back home rain interrupts plans, creates a bad mood, and makes everyone complain. In New Zealand, the fact is it will probably rain today, and life goes on. Like so many other things, rain is only a deterrent if I let it be.