I knew it was going to be a big one when I left school on the Wednesday. As I approached the bridge on my way to the station I could hear the river pounding and surging. The usually benign trickle of a stream was raging. The sound was angry and violent.
Everyone was drenched even with umbrellas which battled against the howling wind and the devious rain which drove in sideways making the umbrella a very ineffective opponent. Surfaces were sleek and a danger in themselves. The junior pleb at the station had the job of standing outside holding a banner warning of the slipping danger while he yelled out at the top of his voice for passengers to take care. His voice was often drowned out by the swoosh of cars racing home before the worst struck and loud announcements over the broadcast system that trains may not be running to schedule due to the inclement weather
All Wednesday night and Thursday morning the rain was torrential and a cacophony on my rooftop. I was thankful to be warm, dry and safe as I followed the news of the poor people north of me.
The sound of a typhoon is so different to the the torrential rains of the rainy season. The typhoon is hellbent on destruction, the rain hammers and cuts, it surges with the wind, battering at times, then a lull before its next attack. It comes from all directions swirling and driving in side ways, there is no escape. The rainy season rain while heavy and wet is warm and soft. It seems to fall vertically and is big and ploppy. While a taiphoon brings noisy terror and destruction, the rainy season rains are welcomed as they are needed to feed the rice crops, Japan’s staple. Rainy season is a welcome sound.
About Thursday, suddenly the absence of sound was conspicuous in itself. I decided a walk was in order. I needed food. I was a bit unsure what I might find in my neighbourhood after been holed up for a day as I too live by a big river which fortunately has very good flood plains, stop banks and water control systems in place. Luckily all was fine. The river was running as high as I had ever seen it but it hadn’t breached its banks into the flood plans. Sports fields along the river were sodden and surface flooded but safe.
Outside the patter of gentle rain had replaced the onslaught. Things smelt fresh and green. The angry threatening grey sky was lightening and patches of blue were coming through. I enjoyed the sound of the rain softly hitting by red umbrella and my gumboots splashing in the puddles.
Nature’s sounds reemerged. Birds were in the hedgerows along the river, darting in and out and shaking raindrops off their bodies, drinking from the puddles and enjoying the ability to be able to fly again. They were twittering and chirping, happy to have made it through.
When I first decided to venture out out I thought things were silent. indeed the powerful angry noises of the typhoon had ceased but as I started to walk I realised there was a very loud orchestra playing. The cicadas were out in force. Their noise almost deafening. As a child and even now I always wondered how something so so noisy can be so well camouflaged and hard to spot. It was a huge overwhelming sound that transported me back to summer days as a kid. After the typhoon, it was a welcome noise, everything felt fresh, green and washed clean, the sirens and warning systems had stopped and the cicadas announced that the worst had passed. I felt safe just like when I was a kid.
In Response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge A sense of hearing and my poll in the writing 101 course from day 6
Yoroshiku Onegai shimasu