I Miss the Monsoon

Since yesterday, Victoria (the province that Melbourne is in) has been buffeted by strong winds -- sometimes reaching gale force in localized areas. There hasn't been much damage, though the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for "Localised Damaging Winds".

I walked home through that weather last night and, when I was about four streets away, it started raining. The rain itself wasn't hard but the wind was whipping it around quite a bit. Though I've been through heavier rains and thunderstorms in Melbourne, this was the first time I really felt the power of the elements -- which is a feeling that I really love. Of course, as Richard Adams says in his book 'Watership Down', the only reason we can say that is because we know we can protect ourselves from those very elements. If we couldn't, we probably wouldn't love, say, winter all that much (which, by the way, is my favourite season).

Anyway, as I hurried down the street while being pelted by rain, I realized just how much I miss the South Asian monsoons. I've been in Australia for the last two monsoon seasons -- which, in Pakistan, runs from end June to September -- and there's nothing quite like that on this continent. And though the weather here is sometimes more extreme, I do miss those rains (the thunder, those heavy showers) very much. It's not just the rains, though. It's the sights, the sounds, the smells, and ultimately, what the coming of the monsoon means for that part of the world. The monsoon heralds the coming of a new season, a new beginning, a new lease of life for that land...something that washes away the previous year and brings in the next. [I'm not going to try to be poetic about this. Many others have done a much better job that I can ever do!]

I think it was the smell of fresh rain on the ground that triggered my memories. That and the fact that I wasn't getting drenched like I would have been, had this been a monsoon rain. I wonder when I'll get to experience that next. Probably not next year. The year after that, maybe? Only if I'm lucky. Oh well.