Wednesday, 6 August 2014
M for Monsoon
When we booked our holiday to The Maldives we were warned that it would be the monsoon season, with rain falling heavily for a short, sharp burst most days. As it turned out we only had rain on 2 days, but what rain it was!
The first day was hot and humid, the kind of day that sapped your energy and made your limbs feel heavy. As we sat eating breakfast in the early morning sun, our waiter warned us that Male (the capital) had had torrential rain for the last few days, "It's on it's way" he warned us. With barely a cloud in the sky we giggled to ourselves and thought he was making jokes with us tourists. By lunch time a few clouds had formed and the wind had got up. Being the worshipers that we are a few clouds were not going to stop us sunbathing and swimming so back to the beach we went. By late afternoon, the cloud cover was heavier, excuse enough to head to the surf bar and a cold beer.
As our friends arrived to meet us, I looked up and saw a bank of black clouds coming towards the beach. It was as if someone had dropped a jar of ink across the sky, the light dimming as the blackness spread. The wind started to whip up, taking the crests of the waves off into spray that reached us high on the shoreline. The surfers who moments before had been enjoying the break all started to paddle to shore. There was movement all around us; the wind bending the palm trees, rattling the shades around the bar, kicking up the spray into our faces.
Then in a second - stillness, the waves dropped, the wind seemed to fall away and the birds, so noisy a moment before, stopped singing, stopped flying, just stopped.
A single drop of rain fell onto my arm, then another onto the decking my my foot. Another and another fell until the heavens literally opened. The biggest raindrops I've ever seen falling, within seconds empty glasses started to fill with water, the deck became sodden, our palm tree parasol was no match for the rain, there was no hiding.
Fearing that the rain would be the piercing, cold needles it is in the UK we bravely decided to make a run to the safety of our room. But oh my, the rain so heavy, but so warm, teased us and refreshed us. The rain fell and we ran, but we also danced and laughed and opened our mouths to catch the rain drops. We purposely walked through the sandy puddles in our bare feet, splashing each other as we walked. For the hour the rain fell we were children again.
That monsoon day was my favourite day of the holiday.