Waiting for the rain

From North to South, from valley to hill.

I look up, minds still racing on the math problem I was doing, my nostrils wide open and awoken, scanning for the gust of wind that just brought along the unmistakeable smell of

there it was again. Coming from the valley, or maybe internet hill, how can this be after it rained yesterday. It wouldn’t be the first time, but

there. again.

I stand up and walk out of my house, suddenly hit by the rising air pressure and the sight of rolling thundering clouds coming from the horizon. It’s here.

again, this can’t be true.

The smell of wildfire is a very distinctive smell – almost sweet – and all members of Fire Service knows it instinctively. We’ve learned to recognise it from midnight wakeup calls or 8 hour fire struggles in the reserve. We know it.

There I was, looking at the rolling clouds coming from east – or west – maybe north – I have no idea – and at the same time smelling an oncoming wildfire.

I’m dehydrated, bad for fire fighting. It is not rare to quench down 6 liters of water during a fire, if you remember to bring some. If you don’t, you’re fucked. With this thought in mind, I go and drink 2 liters – I’m in shape, ready for whatever

I stand again and look at the clouds – they must surely beat the fire, when will the rain come? In ten minutes, twenty, an hour? Who knows.

This must be the best race I’ve ever witnessed, that of a thunderstorm and a wildfire. I pray to whatever that the lightning bolts will beat the fire alarm. Maybe there wasn’t even a fire to begin with

unlikely, to say the least. But the smell was there, I know that smell

I smell the rainfall coming, it’s close, it will surely beat the fire and as I go back to my desk I fill coffee in my cup and put on that Bon Iver album again, it had just finished. Sitting here, smelling fire and rain and waiting for it to come. I leave in 15 days and many of these faces around me will be gone for years – a lifetime


here’s to second year

UPDATE: The rain won  – big time.


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