‘There’s a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down’ ~ Don Delillo
Sounding like an army, distant footsteps and drumming peals thunder closer. The darkness rolls forward eating away at the light, leaving a hazy moisture-soaked daze in its wake.
Now that’s a more poetic way of saying yesterday I experienced an almighty hail storm and a less dramatic way of marking a return to blogging. With a sudden and sinister change in light, I saw the hail approaching before it even revealed itself. Which is the neat thing about living on the side facing into the open West and not into the downtown area, cramped with skyscrapers and apartments – seeing the oncoming weather sweeping towards the city centre. It came from the way of the mountains and the dark cloud swallowed up everything in the sky, buildings and trees in the distance became hazy and you could hear the hail beating down over yonder. Strange to be in sight and audible but not having any impact directly around me.
Rain drops plip-plopped heavily. Then the hail hit.
Some perfectly spherical, others irregularly shaped crashed onto the balcony edge with such force that they fragment. Ricocheting in unpredictable directions.
Finally the rain ceased up and all that could be heard was the whirling drainage flow and the rain lightly tippy-tappying. Less cruel now, not whipping the pavement.
Something wicked this way comes.
”What is life? It is the flash of the firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset’‘ ~ Crowfoot.
Calgary weather in a word. Schizophrenic. Temperature can plunge to dangerously low temperatures, venturing outside literally becomes painful. The deep winter freezes are blasted by Chinook winds with the Bow Valley to the West of the city funneling in warming winds causing the snow to vanish and the temperature to dramatically climb. At random intervals but welcomed. I experienced the joy of being tossed around like a ‘human tumbleweed’ earlier in the week as walking round the city felt like being in a perpetual wind tunnel of no escape. It has sleeted too but I want to blast any misconceptions anyone has of all Canadian weather as being trapped in a blizzard. This weekend someone cranked up the furnace because it resembled summer, highs of 18°C and I even had to bring the sunscreen out as the sun was beating down intensely on the pavement. Am I mad for buying SPF 60 for my face?
Weather is a danger zone topic, only talked of in dire situations where conversation is difficult to muster. But I’ve never been somewhere with such abrupt changes in a short period of time so it seems pretty unusual to me. Hopefully after leaving Calgary we’ll be somewhere with obvious seasonality but without the fear of killer icicles. The ‘Danger! Falling Ice!’ signs are there for a reason.
Calgary sunsets in a word. Spectacular. The sky is ablaze with a brilliant orange sheen that is as if the sky is on fire highlighting the clouds and the outline of distant mountains. It then morphs into a mottled powder pink and blue, looking as if the sky is calming and preparing itself for twilight. The whole mood of the sky and the city just changes, like that.