A Sudden Hailstorm

August 21, 2009

Yesterday we went up to a little village called Montfarrand La Fare, Pay de Nyons in the south of France. The intention was to walk down to the ancient town of Rosans and have lunch there but my wife Gyda wanted, in the last minute, to walk up the mountain from about 500M to 1050M and skip lunch, so I decided to stay with the car and so some sketches of the village instead.

The sky was cloudless when she set off with Marie-Lou and the temperature was in the 30s, but within 2 hours ominous black clouds gathered overhead all around this isolated hilltop village and without any warning lightning and thunder appeared, the sounds that echoed around the valleys below were truly frightening.

I wish then I could have gone with them; at least we can endure this sudden change in the weather together. But instead, this tremendous hailstorm came with the torrential rain and our car ended up with small dents all over its bodywork, as I took shelter in the nearby balcony of an unoccupied house.

The hailstorm and the rain came twice and one can see them coming in two distinct patches and only a small portion of the sky is affected and this little hilltop village is right on their path. My wife only saw the lightning and heard the thunders high up in the mountain, they did not get wet at all but where I was, it was buckets and buckets of water and hails as big as marbles we use to play with as kids!

As I stood in my shelter looking at the rain and the hails hitting the roof tiles next door, I though how unpredictable life could be like the weather. One minute you would think everything is fine and the next minute the sky is falling on you, but when you look around, the sun could be shinning half a kilometre away. I thought then, it is better to enjoy the good times together whenever we can, one never knows, Heaven could just point her finger at us, out of the blue, and say, “Sorry, it is time to have some fun with you…”

I was relieved (and perhaps a little bit wiser) when I saw them walking down the mountain path.

First picture shows the impending storm.
Second picture shows the rain and hail hitting the roof tiles.
Third picture shows the coming of the second downpour.
Fourth picture shows the passing of the first downpour.

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