Driving home from the training workshop I was crawling through the rush hour traffic, the car was like an oven having been closed up and parked in full sun for four hours whilst I was delivering the presentation. Impatient road hogs weaving from lane to lane gaining a few feet in the queuing glass and metal conga line of vehicles, exhaust fumes mixed with the audible pollution of adjacent car radios adding to the claustrophobic sensation being on the road invoked.
It started with a few drops lightly resting on my windscreen like those you might see when the car in front has their windscreen washer jets set too high, warm sticky air blowing in through the open windows gave no indication of more to come. I had not moved more than four or five car lengths when it arrived, 'the deluge' , instantly I was soaking wet and blind to any other vehicle around me, my visibility as reduced as that when travelling through a car wash. I immediately hit the switch for the electric windows and turned on my windscreen wipers to the fastest setting, I still could not see, then the flash of light as the car in front and the one behind turned on their lights, I immediately did likewise, no one moved, each car around me trying to achieve some order in their view before attempting to crawl forward.
Slowly we started hesitantly creeping along, each car leaving gaps of a cars length in front, as the rain washed across the tarmac like a river, jumping the drains with the force of the water, puddles as large as a small car forming along the gutters causing sheets of water to spray up across the pavement as pedestrians leaped out of their way hurrying to seek shelter. The remainder of the drive home one of caution and amazement, making normal progress now but mindful of the glass like surface of the road and the increased braking distance require on such a waterlogged route, the interior of the car fogging up from my damp clothes afraid to open the window even a crack with the force of the rain hitting the windows.
As I climbed the hill and turned into my road, the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started, clear blue sky and sunshine glistened off the wet surfaces, cancelling my windscreen wipers I pulled onto my drive and switched off the engine. I sat a moment before getting out of the car, silence.... and then I heard him a single note repeated, followed by an answering reply until all I could hear was the chorus of the birds, the chatter and squabbles I hear each morning as I leave for work and then I know I am home.
It is cooler now, the air fresh and crisp, the sunset clear, the sun red as it sank towards the horizon, tomorrow will be another hot and sunny one according to the weathermen, but for now it is a perfect end to a busy day.
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