The rain was pouring down in sheets, beating on the tin roof with a million little fingers, gushing and pouring and gurgling through the gutters, our front garden a flowing stream out under the gate. The wet season in Townsville, grey sky looming above, the horizon whited out in veils of raindrops, and a busy day on the road ahead. It was a gumboot day, for sure, as the gutters were brim full, and anything less would mean very wet feet indeed. I packed up my computer and everything else I needed into my briefcase and made a dash out to the van. Raincoats were next to useless, because then the whole inside of the van got wet, and anyway – it was so warm and humid that wearing a raincoat was a bit like wearing a portable personal sauna!
I checked my list for the day – first up a puppy for vaccinations, and set off, windscreen wipers thrashing at the sheets of water falling from the sky. I had to take a detour here and there, as the streets were starting to fill up in low-lying areas. Finally I pulled up at the gate of my first visit, and then dashed into the house, arriving a bit wet and bedraggled.
“It’s a bit wet out there, isn’t it?” the puppy’s mum said with a smile, as a wriggly waggly squirm of puppy joy jumped all over my boots. It looked a bit strange, big black gumboots, but my feet were cosy and dry. Before too long I’d checked the puppy all over, and I had to run out to the car and get the needle ready. The rain got heavier, as if the sky knew I had to go out again. I ran out, grabbed everything and came back in wet and panting. It was warm enough that the rain was pleasant.
The day unfolded through the windscreen after that – sometimes heavy drops flinging down like golf balls, then a fine mist, then some scuds of windy sheets; never ending water streaming out of the sky. I saw an old dog with a sore back, gave him a massage and left him feeling much happier, a cat with a cat fight abscess to opo and put on antibiotics, and a lame dog who’d blown out his cruciate on the beach the day before. Some warm cups of tea, lots of concerned questions about how wet I was, and many conversations about the rain. It had been raining for long enough now that we were all a bit over it, ready to see the blue sky and feel the sun. The wet season had the upper hand, however, and there was no hope of this for a while yet.
Finally I pulled into my own driveway, gathered my bag, and ran into our home. Time for a warm bath, and dry cosiness.