The Scent of a Storm

July is tempestuous. July is bold. July is hot. It begins with the slow staining of the blue summer skies. A hint of dirty blue, daubs of smoky blue deepening and darkening till suddenly the world feels like a place bereft of light, haunted by its own moodiness. The wind picks up, rushing through the thick cover of trees. Leaves and lightweight objects fly thick in the whirling winds. The cherry tomato plant, now about 5″ tall, waves its fuzzy-haired slender branches wildly, releasing a sweet, grassy fragrance that lingers on the fingers, long after I have secured the dancing branches to the stake to prevent them from flopping over.

With some fury, hail comes calling. It is pelting mad. Takes me back to a winter’s noon of being caught dab in the middle of a hailstorm in sweet old Bremen and securing comfort within the portals of a plush old cafรฉ there, a big slab of kuchen and kaffee for company.

July for me has started with thunderstorms and my husband’s birthday. Both beloved and replete with loveliness. The first day of the month itself, I nipped out to the stores for ingredients essential to the feast I had conjured up in the mind. By the time I was ready with my totes filled with fruits, cream, and bottles of bubbly, my heart was quailing and rejoicing in equal measures at the sight of the wall of rain. I was caught in the middle of a flamboyant storm. Purple streaks of lightning followed by thunderous crashes. A flimsy brolly to carry me through this till I reached the cab that ferried me home.

Then a whole afternoon of cooking and baking, till I had half of what I wanted to put out on the table. Visibly overwhelmed, birthday boy exclaimed, “But it is just our two tummies that has got to tuck it all in. We have the entire month.” Clever hints. Nonetheless, the spread was truly enough. Soon we found that we could not plough through half of it without feeling comatose. The sparkling blackberry-laced cocktails helped the cause and we decided to dance off the rest of the evening. It was a strangely lovely birthday.

I have no idea why, but I have been unable to blog. Words have been spare in my head. I am not trying to say that we have been particularly troubled by this whole business of confinement. To be honest, we have discovered good old-fashioned fun in each other’s company. Adi has taken to running and we have been pounding the pavement rather religiously, winding it off with encounters with a big oaf, a malamute who loves to talk and lean on us. There are always sights for those who are keen to see. We have watched girls and boys, freshly graduated, stream through the park in cars, girls standing tall through sunroofs in tulle dresses, proudly swaying, others skulking inside stretch limos.

On quieter days, we have stood in the wetlands behind our home, where near the tall prairie grasses, egrets and herons come to fish. The gentle wading and poise of the white egret, the prowling of the yellow-crowned night heron with its comical, tufted head, that of the squatter and significantly hunchbacked black-crowned night heron. Nature is entrancing and she continues to soothe our souls.



Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

31 thoughts on “The Scent of a Storm

  1. I have noticed a decline in blogging lately, even though I would have expected the opposite during lock down. I am not sure why. Maybe due to the Northern summer?
    I loved your description of the storm!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Amanda, how have you been? Has there been a decline now? I am looking forward to some blog hopping. Summer has been quite so about looking inwards, not a total write-off. Thank you for dropping by – despite my abrupt posting rhythm – and your kind words. Looking forward to swinging by yours. What have you been upto during the period of lockdown? x


      1. I have read a few posts about regular bloggers taking a break from writing. Maybe they are making the most of the short Northern summer season. The flip side is I am finding more Australian writers popping up in my reader.
        I have been taking leave from work due to Covid and safeguarding my health as I cannot work from home delivering physical therapy to people with disabilities. So after several months I made the decision to retire. I was not planning to work for more than a year or so more as I have moved about 50 km away from where I work. A long haul in traffic home. I am not sure if you know that I built a house by the sea last year and have moved there. I just love living by the water! I go for walks along the beach as often as I can. The world is such a different place now from where we last chatted and who could have imagined that? I am glad to hear that you are well and I do hope you enjoy the rest of your summer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think you made a wise decision and am thrilled to hear of the direction your life has gone since we last chatted. A house by the sea sounds blissful and walks at the beach on your doorstep…sigh. Sounds perfect, Amanda. All the effort on your part that must have gone in towards the building of the house is now being reaped surely.

        The world is a vastly different place today, Amanda. Who could have imagined?!

        You have a great winter too. In your cosy cottage by the sea (that just sounds so good). ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am loving living here even though my view of the water is fast disappearing as word gets out and more houses are built around us. All good though, we just walk down to the water.
        Incredible that travel has all but disappeared at the moment. Who could have predicted that?


    1. Hey Kim, waiting to read about yours. ๐Ÿ™‚ It will be a treat to the senses, undoubtedly. Thank you for your kind wishes, which are to be conveyed to the husband. May your summer be filled with pleasures too! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was stuck in the middle of a rather ugly thunderstorm too. Mud was everywhere, I was drenched from head to toe even though I had an umbrella, and at one point, I was worried that lightning would strike me! Sometimes, writing takes a back seat. That’s alright. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. As for me, the lockdown helped me stick on to a writing schedule and it’s been going great so far. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thunderstorms can freak you out. Lightning being a constant threat when you are caught outside. Glad you got back safe, Shweta.

      Good on you, girl. Lockdown has delivered on some front then. ๐Ÿ™‚ You stay safe. x


  3. I know what you mean about blogging. I am still going, posting blogs about Vietnam. We were there for the first 3 months of the year, but it seems like centuries ago. Part of me thinks, ‘is this relevant, life has changed so much’. Life is strange, so strange. But I enjoyed reading your blog, it’s good to read what you’ve been up to, and how you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you are catching up on posts that you have not got around to, Tracey. These are strange times and we are all on uncharted waters. Whatever gets us by. There has to be some good to come out of this all. Sometimes I feel sick of it, but for the most part I keep pottering around doing things and the hours fly.

      Looking forward to catching up on Vietnam. Any prospect of travel, be it armchair alone, is grand. Cheers for dropping by and the sweet words, lovely! xx


  4. The rain would be very welcome in drought ridden Southern Cal! We have witnessed so far, two brush fires and one poor palm tree lit from an errant firework on 4th of July. Great to read your sumptuously descriptive blogpost and also to see your wonderful watercolors! We have a similar looking white egret in our area whom I’ve affectionately named Bernie because we don’t know if it’s a Bernard or Bernadette. Happy birthday to Adi! Take care. – Neek

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sending stormy vibes your way, lovely Neek. You could do with a few proper showers, going by the sound of the terrible drought. You are always kind. I am working on my watercolour skills, they have lain dormant so long that I am rusty yet. But I am finding great pleasure in conjuring up old passions.

      Bernie is a wise gender-neutral name. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As solid as any. Also, thank you for the wishes. They shall be conveyed promptly. Love and hugs. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s such a pleasure to catch up with you again. I thought I was following your blog, but when I came here today, I saw I wasn’t! So annoying, or forgetful on my part. I love hearing about your summer and your husband’s birthday, and most of all, I love your watercolors! What fun. I’ve been experimenting some with watercolor but I don’t have much artistic talent, nor do I have any clue what I’m doing. But these are great! Keep safe and enjoy the rest of your July. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not your doing, Cathy. My idiotic move to change hosts, and as a result, I seem to have lost all of my former followers, apart from other losses.

      Thank you for returning though and commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been quite lax about posting of late. Watercolouring is fun, is it not? I am no great shakes either but its value is in what it makes you feel. Cheers for you generous thoughts! You have a lovely month too. xx


      1. Oh dear, that’s always a pain when that happens. Well, your blog is looking very nice. Do you not have WordPress anymore? Watercoloring is fun, but I find it hard to work with, mainly because I don’t have a clue what I’m doing! I’m also not very good at drawing, which would help. You seem to be talented at both. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Interesting to know that you love thunderstorms (so much that they’re in the same sentence with Adi, heheh). Thunderstorms here in Singapore are rather scary. They’ve too loud and violent. But I do love the the rain too and the calm after the thunderstorms here. Glad to know that Adi jogs with you now. My hubby jogs once a week now too because of the absence of tennis. I’m stuck at home though, because I seem allergic to the mask.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teehee. My husband is no less dramatic than a thunderstorm (you know, when his stomach rumbles). I get what you mean by the loudness of the thunderstorms there. Tropical thunderstorms are so. It rains like the heavens have held it in for days, the thunder is cracking and lightning strikes like it will burn everything it comes across. Passions of nature, eh?

      Adi wants to play tennis too, but I am such a beginner level player that I don’t put him through the motions. Though he loves the game and wants to go for it. Maybe it is time to return to it. On the other hand, Adi appreciates why I love running so. Here we don’t wear masks while running because we are conscious of keeping a distance from others. Also, the last time I wore a mask and ran, I had a fall and skinned my knees badly enough that I was off action for three weeks straight. Hope you get to go out soon Amor! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow good to know that Adi plays tennis too. I’m still a beginner, since 15 years ago hahahah. Ouch sorry to hear about the fall. We don’t wear a mask here as well when running, or brisk walking, brisk being the operative word, otherwise we have to mask up. We get to go out now but with safety protocols and all. I’m in fact missing my kids who’ve gone back to school now after their summer break. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My story with tennis is somewhat the same. I never stopped learning, tee hee.

        I am amazed the schools having started again. You must be missing them, yes, but it must also feel nice to get life back to “normal”. I wonder when we will simply go out to a restaurant! xx


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