It’s raining, finally. It feels like it hasn’t rained for weeks, not properly but now it is falling, proper rain that soaks the ground and forms small puddles that sit on top of the soil and fill in the cracks and holes in the road. Rain that is falling from a leaden sky in a constant downpour, covering everything with a patina of water that picks up the reflections from the street lights that have been fooled into staying on, to shine in your eyes like distant stars. A heavy grey sky that is dampening spirits and bringing out Macintoshes and umbrellas as people scurry from their homes to their cars and from their cars to their work.
It really hasn’t rained properly for months, everyone has been saying so, everyone has been talking about the change in climate and nodding that perhaps global warming really is true. The ground has been parched, perhaps moist on the surface from the morning dew but underneath dusty and dry and desiccated. The gardeners have been complaining, the farmers have been complaining, even the golfers have been complaining while the water companies have been trying to explain what they are doing to cope with their ever diminishing stock.
But now it’s pouring, getting heavier, coming down in sheets that stripe the roads as the rain is picked up by the breeze. Cars are driving with their headlights on, wipers turned on full and the water hissing from between the tyre treads. Their windscreens are misting up and the drivers are taking it gingerly, trying not to soak the pedestrians that are plashing their way along the pavements or waiting patiently for their bus to arrive. Gutters are overflowing, gurgling and slapping water on the slabs below. Drains are not coping, small bubbles are being carried along by the streams that are forming along the side of the roads, joining together and getting bigger as the water rushes to find its way down to the rivers.
It’s easing off now, turning back to a more gentle light rain. The passers by are in less of a hurry and the traffic is easing. Single drops are visible by the concentric rings that they create in the puddles that are lying around. The rain has cleansed the air and the sky is brightening with the odd break in the cloud hinting at the blue sky beyond, but walls and windows and pavements are left flecked with the dirt kicked up from the roads.
Everywhere smells of mould and mildew and damp but we’ve been waiting for today as it hasn’t rained for weeks.