The Taste of Rain

It is the way the air tastes that alerts me.

Clouds are no predictor of rain or storms.

But that heavy, ozone-laden weight on my tongue is seldom wrong.

Good stories have that taste, too.

Before the storm, before the water or the wind, the words start to feel heavier.

While there are freak showers, spot lightning, most storms send notice of their passage.

I love that moment when the air is sizzling, when the bottom of my stomach drops, because I can feel what is about to come.

Storms can be terrifying as well as beautiful.

But when I stand in the noise and the flood, I can connect the moments.

There is nothing like the flavour of disruption.

The taste of rain.

DSC00500The storm to come


In the Time Before

We start just before sunrise.

The tides are not with us.

We are efficient, even when we prepare in the darkness, even before we start hiking in the pale, rising light.

To pass the cliffs, the timing must be absolutely perfect.

To do otherwise is to join the bones resting in the crevices of the cliff face, smashed by the force of the waves.

When I write, the cliffs rise before me.

Those pieces of story, so delicate and so dangerous, on whose timing rests the success of the whole.

I think of that preparation, quiet and dark.

None of that was visible to the four-wheelers that passed us as if we were standing still.

By the time the cliffs are reached, it is already too late to prepare.

When we reach those jagged edges, those moments of fatal timing, the effortlessness of our passage must carry the shadow of that darkness.

We must carry those earlier hours, and move surely onwards.

There is never a guarantee in life or its telling that we will not make a fatal misstep.

But standing beyond the choke point, watching the world unfold, there is a magic nothing else can deliver.

There is no glamour in the darkness.

The ease of our magic is always rooted in a hundred invisible hours before the rising of the sun.

IMG_5421Where we start