January Rains

Sydney (and indeed most of the east coast of Australia) has shed itself of sunshine and blue skies in exchange for monsoonal hues of grey. It seems we’ve swapped the deadly heat and bush fires of last week for rain, rain and more rain. Some parts have gale-force winds too, but they haven’t reached Sydney as yet (thankfully). The rain on its own is peaceful. It’s the wind that gives it an edge of violence.

We managed a fine Australia Day for which the nation is always happy about. Parties, BBQs, concerts, and fireworks aren’t nearly as enjoyable when it’s wet. I work in events and Australia Day is our busiest period. We are all ecstatic that the weeks/months of hard work to present outdoor concerts, market stalls and fireworks have not been spoiled. Last year, we had to end the concert early because of rain. A few years ago, we had to cancel fireworks due to a total fire ban and gusty winds. Over the last 12 years, I’ve spent Australia Day sweating, shivering, wet, dry, heat affected, and covered in a fine film of salt and sand (our main concert is on a beach). The common denominator over the whole period is sore feet and exhaustion. This year, I coordinated a smaller section of the day which was entirely indoors. I escaped the weather, but not the sore feet.

This rain is meant to see January out and welcome February in. Our hottest and driest time of year is seems to be turning into our wettest. I wonder if it’s a result of the drought breaking. Surely, years of extreme drought can not be washed away in just one season of rain (that being last summer). It must have longer reaching effects than that. Perhaps, we only think that January & February are hot and dry because during the drought, they were. I can’t really remember what the seasons were like before that; except that Christmas is traditionally overcast and often showery.

Weather is much too complex and the patterns too varied to be completely predictable.

Let’s just appreciate the rain while we have it. Hope we don’t get too much wind. And pray that those people caught in the floods up north find safety and a dry place to lay their heads tonight.

I plan to spend the last remaining hours of our Australia Day weekend, skimming through notes, working on a story, and then perhaps curling up on the sofa with a cup of coffee and a good book listening to the rain outside.

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