04 March 2010

How to read clouds.

I have a method of watching the sky out the window, looking towards the sea. Certain clouds mean we may have a break in the rain, and there is time to take the dogs dashing down to check the surf before it takes another dump. I say that as if it works like counting crows or measuring the ripples in earthquake waves, scientific genius methods precise. Usually it doesn't, but we take our chances because to be outside between the storms feels like it's just you and your dogs and and the sky and nobody else.

It's not like it's always raining. The other evening the skies cleared and the winds came up suggesting more was blowing in later. This guarantees, the first chance we get, we head to the beach. It's just weather. Comes and goes. The guys on the internet, and balding guys in suits on tv, they do their best, but what works better is to look at the sky and remain flexible. When you can bend, you don't have to worry about breaking.

In the drizzle in the morning, we walked towards Mitchell's, where the car park was desolate but for a faded navy blue Jeep Cherokee. Two guys in leather pants were fighting in a language I couldn't discern, over the backdrop of heavy surf too blown out for anyone to bother with. And trust me, I was trying to discern. One of the guys grabbed a garbage bag full of clothes and dumped it out the door onto the wet street. We just kept walking. So did the white haired couple in matching white jackets, who couldn't walk fast if they tried, but they held hands and kept their bug eyes fixed on the sea.

Later that day after work though, I miscounted the clouds out at the whale skeletons. It was empty and dark and something kept pulling me to walk through the swamp out to the cliff edge. It's hard to go down there and not walk all the way out to the ocean, where you can stand on the edge and look north, south and west all at once. Nothing out there but disturbed choppy waters, but it's still important to go and look. By the time I got there, the rain turned to horizontal sheets, attacking us from the side when we finally turned back to the top of the field. My black rubber boots didn't matter, since the swamp waters rise instantly in that much rain. All the dogs, even Gustavo, could no longer run, and we stumbled back up to the car park, one soggy mass of black fur and black parka with no surfaces dry.


ViewFr4Inch said...

Beautiful description. From someone at home supposed to be writing for pay right now. Thanks for the nice break.

Elf said...

Nicely written. Wonderful photo of gustavo blowing in the wind. Looks like the hero of Wuthering Small Dog Heights.