The satellite images showed a band of clouds stretching diagonally across the Tasman Sea, from Australia to New Zealand and out into the Pacific.
All morning, we felt that front, as it pushed the wind ahead of it.
An empty rain barrel tipped and rolled away. Hay bales set up for archery toppled. Bird nests flew out of the oak trees like cannonballs, spilling eggs and chicks across the yard. Plums, apricots, apples and figs rained from branches heavy with fruit. The office shook as 100 kph gusts hit it. I watched as the windows flexed. The air was hot and gritty, filled with dust and flying debris.
Then I smelled the sea.
The wind shifted 180 degrees in a moment. The air cooled, became moist. The plants, bowed all day to the south, tipped to bow northward, limp and compliant. The dust that had finally settled on the south side of every rock and building, lifted again to find new harbourage on the north side of something.
That band of clouds sits over top of us now. If we are lucky, it will deliver a few drops of rain.