Updated: Jan 28, 2020
Singapore awoke yesterday under a pale gray sky, no sign of the sun. Still, humid, expectant of rain. I began the day with a swim, my first in three weeks, banned from the water for this period due to a nasty injury to my left thumb. I am an island girl born under the sign of the fish and raised in the spray of the surf. 21 days without a swim is 20 days too long.
I swam alone for an hour or so, gliding through unbroken water, its night-cooled hands caressing my skin. Back and forth, lap after lap. Heart pounding, muscles pumping. Meditation in motion. What a glorious way to start the day, settle the soul and open the mind for ideas to flow.
As the morning progressed so the clouds lowered and a whisper of mischief came in through the windows on the wings of the wind, hinting at the deluge to come.
Drawn to the magnificence of the incoming weather like a moth to a flickering flame I left my flat and wandered to the sea-facing side of the building. The sea on the horizon was bruised purple, blending seamlessly into a reflective mercury grey on the foreshore: every detail of the ships in the strait picked clear against the backdrop of advancing rain. Bright white lightening began to streak seawards in the distance, followed by a faint rumble of thunder. Day darkness rapidly fell. White horses galloped madly, their manes shining luminous in the storm-driven light.
The wind was carrying menace not mischief; in minutes thunder ceaselessly rolled around the sky and the wind began howl and screech. I could hear doors slamming throughout the building. Pink and white lightening flashed along the underside of the clouds. Louder and louder the wind screamed. Omnipotent power. I watched in awe.
The lightning stopped and the world within my vision changed into a grey wall of solid water, driven eastwards by the battering wind. Thunder boomed, almost without end, crashing overhead. The lightening returned, dancing seamlessly with the thunder above & the wind around. An orchestra of elemental sound … totally & utterly magnificent.
Through the chaos a momentary shaft of sunlight hit a tanker moored out in The Straits, gold on grey. An ephemeral break in the madness. The wind returned. A ship’s horn called in distress and sampans tossed this way and that, straining at their anchor chains.
Wonderful, wild, wicked, extreme weather.
First published 1 March 2007 Image © TJF Photographics 2007 All rights reserved