It was hot and muggy all day, and there was an unusual stillness in the air. I viewed through the large bedroom window on the second floor which always presented an ever changing panorama of nature's art to the eye.
The golden pink rays of the setting sun touched the distant hills, creating several iridescent waves of umber and emerald green. On the far left side, the peak of majestic Mount Hood (a mountain in Oregon, USA) reflected a faint carmine glow. There were patches of cumulus clouds floating around, like cotton candy in the eastern sky. The tall evergreen trees in their dark garbs, brushed with the strokes of golden rays, stood calm like sentinels to the house in front. A pair of robins was gorging the bright red berries of the mountain ash tree, and three sparrows were perched near the bird bath under the pussy-willow tree.
Just then the weatherman said on television, "A cooler front with gusty wind, and a thunderstorm is advancing towards the North West".
A thunderstorm I muttered, with the hope of getting relief from the heat. There was no change in the temperature during the night, but a thin blanket of clouds covered the sky.
The cloud pattern changed in the morning as the fast moving grey clouds replaced the moisture-laden dark clouds, and soon it was overcast. The distant hills disappeared in the clouds, and trees on the foothills engulfed in a grey haze. Then the stillness was broken by a hissing sound of wind, which grew stronger and stronger. The evergreen trees moved to and fro like drunkards staggering to balance on their unstable steps. The berry-loaded branches of mountain ash tree swung side to side. A group of five or six sparrows made a short, sharp chirping sound as they took off from the pussy-willow tree, and darted into upward current of the wind.
A strong gust of wind gathered the dry leaves, whirled them on the ground, then lifted them up to float aimlessly. Another blast blew the window curtain and filled the room with the odour of dust freshly sprayed with water. I closed the window, and startled by a flash of quivering lightning which illuminated the Eastern sky. There was a pause. Then a peeling sound, followed by a loud boom of thunder which changed into an echo of rolling and rumbling, and vanished in the clouds.
At first a few big drops of rain splashed on the ground in a tapping rhythm, then abruptly a heavy downpour produced a resounding orchestra. The torrential rain dropped like a thick curtain, occasionally drifted by the blustering wind. There was crackling of branches now and then, while the lightening displayed the temper with outbursts of thunders. The streams of water gushed from the roof and filled the grassy patches below. The thunderstorm continued for hours.
It was still drizzling before the sunset when a few rays of the setting sun, escaped through the clouds to perform a spectacular interlude of spectrum, "a rainbow" I exclaimed!
The weatherman predicted a thunderstorm, but God completed the picture with a peaceful touch of rainbow colours.
* A narrative by Late Mrs. Rashida Doris Barar.