In the tropics we often have thunderstorms. They do not last very long, perhaps for an hour; but they can cause havoc during that short time.
One evening, at about 6 o’clock, I was sitting in front of my house just relaxing and doing nothing in particular. There were some white clouds blocking the blue sky. There was no hint of rain.
It was just a pleasantly warm evening, which was very normal. Then I heard a distant rumble of thunder. It was so faint that I thought I might have imagined it. Gradually the rumbling became more distinct.
I looked towards the sky and still could not see any hint of rain. White clouds still dominate the sky. The rumbling grew louder and louder. Very quickly the eastern sky turned black. The speed at which the black clouds appeared astonished me.
In a few minutes, I could feel the cool wind blowing from the blackened sky. In another few minutes, the whole sky was engulfed by black swirling clouds. The wind increased in intensity.
I could see the trees bent precariously to one side as though they were going to fall over or get blown away like feathers. Suddenly I heard a very loud roar above the rumbling of thunder and the howling of the wind.
The roar became louder and louder. It sounded like a gigantic train approaching though it certainly was not one. The sound was quite unsettling. I looked in the direction of the roar and saw a white curtain of approaching rain.
The next second it was upon us. The corrugated iron roof of my house rattled shakily as the pouring rain crashed down upon it. I ran into the house. The storm was in full swing.
Flashes of lightning lit up the darkened sky followed by cracks of thunder as though in reply. Some flashes of lightning came dangerously close to our house. The following cracks of thunder were immediate and deafening. I saw my father utter a silent prayer.
My kid sister had her palms against her ears while safely enclosed in my mother’s arms. The fury of the storm was incredible. I looked out the window to see a white blur of rain that cut visibility to a few feet.
The rain came down at a large angle driven on by the wind. The noise of rain on the roof was so loud that we could not even hear ourselves talk. All we could do was stay in the house and wait for the storm to blow over.
We also hoped that lightning would not strike us and the wind would not blow the roof away. The storm raged for about an hour while we waited. Then as suddenly as it came, the storm rained itself out. Clear blue skies appeared and soon the black clouds disappeared. The rain got less and stopped. The wind stopped blowing.
I stepped out onto the cool wet grass to breathe in the cool air. It was quite an exhilarating feeling to do this immediately after a thunderstorm. Everything felt so fresh and clean. It was as though the storm had just given the earth a thorough cleaning. Come to think of it, it just might have done that.
After checking my house and finding no serious damage, I took a walk around the neighborhood to see what damage the storm had done to the trees and other houses. I was sure I could see plenty of this.