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Wet or dry?

It is a straightforward binary to live by, wet or dry? Life camping in a field is defined in this way and nothing emphasises this more strongly as when rain falls with such regular ferocity that the only option is to retreat into the confines of shelter and to withhold all bodily functions until this act of nature has passed it course. It is such levels of exposure that lead to the wondering – how is this even possible? Can there be so much liquid in the sky? Surely that is the end? These are the meanderings from the mind of a child, a sense of wonder that comes with the despair, the adult in us knows through experience that the power of rain is for the most part infinite – it can reach Biblical proportions and flooding is one of the most ancient of mythical tropes. This increasing torrent of natural force tends toward the metaphysical and a sense that it is a manifestation of an even larger entity. For while our forefathers may have pleaded to animistic gods, a hidden consciousness that holds the keys to a manifest reality, this later subsumed into the worship of unruly and retributive patriarchs, now we endorse a new ingredient, the spectre of climate change. This new ogre, as those of old, requires placation via ritual and sacrifice and most of all respect – the highest of all sins is to devalue such climatic extremes as simply the weather – there simply must be blame along with the possibility of redemption.
For the most part, it is about survival, or at the very least that need for shelter. This willingness to forego the securities of modern life and expose ourselves to the vagaries of the environment allows a glimpse of primitive simple life within a leaky shelter. That necessary cowering in dwindling fragments of cover, dashing out to make calls of nature to avoid soiling living quarters, keeping supplies dry and safe – it is a re-enactment of that primal play.
The silence is deceptive, a trickery that permits the delusion that it may all be over, that at least for an hour, a day or a week, the heavens have emptied themselves of all they have. It is the belief that offers us a glimpse of the joy that comes with a momentary bright sky and convinces us that the storm has passed. Deep inside our knowing tells us it is just the beginning.

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