It's school pick up time on Wednesday
when the rain is flying sideways.
We try to step around the puddles,
umbrella inside out,
come on, come on, I say.
Dinner by candlelight is romantic the first time,
our only option when the power goes out.
I hear you say: mum, can we do this every night?
I read to you by torch light,
a book for each boy and a song.
Lying beside you, my eldest boy,
I can't remember the last time I sang you to sleep.
Your hand on my tummy, I stroke your hair
and can feel it's silky redness in the dark.
In bed we hear the storm raging,
a forest howling, blowing thunderously.
We toss and turn and pray
the animals are safe,
that our roof stays on.
Waking in the cold, dark of morning,
I fumble for candles, kindling for the fire,
for cereal and anything that will wake us up.
It's still raining, wind blowing.
I am so happy to discover I can
boil the kettle on top of our wood heater -
and later poach eggs and cook rice and porridge.
It's so slow, but worth it.
It's afternoon when the sky begins to part,
and reveals a sunset, pink and golden.
The rain has stopped and you ride
your bikes through the puddles
All around town we see trees missing limbs,
fences crushed and fallen.
Dinner by candlelight for the second night,
and nobody seems excited.
The river swells as we've never seen before.
Storm water swallows the banks,
almost touching the bridge
and our favourite places to sit and play,
are covered over, hidden from view.
I play Shostakovich from my phone as I pack the eggs,
- it feels luxurious and necessary to use battery for this,
the familiar notes, beautiful and haunting,
become the slow whistle of the kettle on top of the fire,
of a storm gathering, raging and calming.
When the moderato begins, I am crying.
ABOUT the author
Emily Clare Sims is a farmer and mama to three young boys. Each day she looks for ways to notice beauty, contemplate her faith and savour the seasons...