I think I found the name for my firstborn child. A cyclone, which slowly formed in the middle of the ocean, not far from the Solomon Islands, has unexpectedly developed into a real troublemaker even before it traveled away from our area.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall, and high temperatures that have been tormenting us for the last three days are starting to take a toll on our wellbeing. Especially our sinuses. Local doctors have warned me that I will notice some changes, and they were right. I felt like I was about to get ill, even though I probably wouldn‘t as I was in perfectly fine condition. It’s hard to explain, but I constantly had a stuffy nose, supposedly due to my body not being used to the air pressure change caused by the cyclone being born.
In the afternoon the sky swiftly turned dark. Before the strong gusts of wind hit the island and the clouds opened up, it was the ocean that took its first turn showing us its might. High and powerful waves started to fill the horizon, forcing me to rush to my computer. Strong tides brought all the filth from Honiara towards our beach. The highly polluted rivers have released all of its waste straight into the ocean. And the waves kept throwing it all back on to the beaches. From glass and plastic bottles to broken dishes, bags full of trash, and pretty much everything that the locals have dropped into the rivers.
Meet Harold. My first. And hopefully my last.
I curiously watched what the neighbor’s kids are up to. They were so playful with all of the trash that filled the beaches. The sound of glass bottles hitting a concrete wall seems to be more exciting than throwing the bottles back into the ocean. Branches from fallen palm trees seem to be too much to handle, their attempts don’t last long. My mind wonders, what could have been done to teach these people about the pollution that is a major problem here. I’m saddened more every day as I walk the streets. I was brought back from the depths of my thoughts by the parents shouting to their children. “Be careful”, they screamed, making me lose that last bit of hope I had. I managed to make peace with myself, that there’s not much else I can do than to wait for the storm to pass, dig straight into the trash which the ocean spat out, and ask the housekeeper to burn it.
“I curiously watched what the neighbor's kids are up to.”
Suddenly the rain comes. It’s pouring. The wind throws thousands of raindrops through the mesh windows into the house. I’m running from one room to another closing the glass shutters. At least on those windows that have them. When I get to the bedroom, I spot a puddle on the edge of the bed. The roof window is leaking quite strongly. I moved the bed and closed the windows. I can now only watch what’s happening outside.
Branches are flying everywhere. All possible fruits and leaves from the tropical trees cover up the paths. Pillows from the outside couch are thrown around. As I empty the terrace, I start to realize that fear has crept up on me. Fear of someone breaking in during the night turns into fear of what will mother nature throw at us next. My mind is filled with dramatic scenes I’ve seen in movies. Scenes of destroyed tropical islands after a severe cyclone passed through them. I write to my friend Dave, who calms me down, saying that this is completely normal during the monsoon season. A bit more rain and strong winds. I finally calm down.
“I spent the afternoon working on my computer.”
I spent the afternoon working on my computer. As I slowly get ready for an evening practice, I get a message. It’s Dave. “I was wrong, the harmless storm was given a name.” A name for the tropical cyclone which will gift Honiara with abundant rainfall and very strong winds. Which will grow into a strong category two or three cyclone and also endanger the neighboring Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia.
Meet Harold. My first. And hopefully my last. I don’t know how long I’ll stay here. What I do know is that I’d rather avoid such extreme weather conditions. I stayed here because I felt safer and more isolated from the Coronavirus. Because here’s no winter and I have a roof above my head with an ocean view. But mother nature knows best. If there’s no Corona, there’s a Cyclone.