On Clouds

The air keeps rushing, switching from cold wind to hot sun as the clouds move across the sky. The clouds are thick, greys edged with white today. Not storm clouds yet, but ones that aspire to be so menacing.

I sit in my chair and read.

My clothes hang on the line, it’s been a three day process to wash them. Two days ago the weather was perfect: bright blue skies, thin clouds floating past. But there was no water. The mechanized pump and spigots that World Vision put in to replace our old, regular borehole, have not been functioning so well and water has been spotty if at all. So I waited.

Yesterday was a storm day. White sky in the morning, clouds already crowding a sky awaiting the afternoon storm. But there was water, so I washed, giving my clothes a quick scrub before hurriedly clipping them up on the makeshift line I string up between corners of my fence. A hasty hour or two in the air with spots of sun peeking through got them almost dry before the storm, as expected, came.

Now today I sit, watching the southeast for the storm. My clothes are swaying in the occasional wind, slowly drying in the reluctant sun.

I sit in my chair and read: now Artemis Fowl, now The Wheel of Time, book seven.

The clouds to the southeast are thick, but that doesn’t indicate rain. They are thick but in layers, like strips of grey and greyer cotton lining the sky. The clouds I’m watching for, though, are the deep blue singularity of a storm. The middle-of-the-ocean blue that darkens and greys and intensifies as it slowly creeps over the sky.

I keep sitting in my chair, reading: now Looking for Lovedu, now Mao II.

I keep watching for the clouds. For the slow rumble that will indicate thunder, that will indicate t-minus thirty minutes until the rain. I’ll be able to watch it as it encroaches, swallowing the fields, making its way over the trees until it reaches me. Until I hastily bring in the clothes,  the solar panels. I will fold up my chair, retreat with my book inside as the rain starts sputtering over me and the air goes cold. I’ll light some candles and huddle under my sleeping bag on the couch as the the rain swallows any plans I may have had for the afternoon. That’s what I’m watching for.

In the meantime I sit in my chair and read.

I sit in the alternating sun and cool, I watch the fluff of the clouds overhead, I watch my Saturday progress and measure the time through pages read in my book.

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