By J Ball
Mrs. Whalen's Great=Great Granddaughter and Granddaughter of Roy Gropp
Sitting here a galaxy away from my natural habitat, I watch the rainfall from the skies as if it were its duty to cleanse the dirty city. Reflections that are only mine . . . what is happening in my own private realm of paradise? It is as clear as if I were there now. The island lies nestled in a blanket of crystalline water, still icy to the touch, but slowly being warmed by the sun's gentle rays. Peace and tranquility reign supreme,the silence occasionally broken by the trill of a bird or the sigh ofthe wind through the pines.
The water cuddles up tothe rocky shore, so desolate and barren, then painfully withdraws back into the oblivion ofthe mother sea. The process is limitless: advance and retreat, advance and retreat, until the fragments of rock that cling so desperately to the shore gradually begin their own peculiar island at the bottom of the bay. All this is visible to the mind'seye, this strange murder of the island.
Looking upwards through the water, the sky lends itself to grey and white, the clouds form and pile on top of one another, and then another until a thousand diamonds burst from the clouds and rush towards my face, breaking the surface of the water in joyful attack and forming a carpet of raindrops.
Back on terra firma, the rain beats down to wash the rocks like amother to her child'sface. They respond with glee as small rivulets form in the crevices and stream down to the nearest level plain.Swirling around at a dizzying speed, the water wears itself out, slows to a more sedate pace and finally drifts about aimlessly in a puddle.
It ripples gently as the breeze lovingly caresses its surface. More violently it disrupts the water's very core as the drops spray upwards and out and tumble heedlessly on a patch of warm glistening rock. The wind laughs at the chaos, and meanders off to more amusing victims. The puddles resume their infinite drifting only to be interrupted again by the worrisome wind, the ceaseless torture of man's most essential element.
Grey and white clouds yield to threatening black masses advancing over the horizon, gorging themselves on the lesser clouds and spewing them forth in fits of rage. The typical symptoms of a rough storm on the bay. They circle the perimeter of the island rumbling and spitting forth their fury in a spatter of rain. The hard diamonds pelt down and tear the fragile leaves and pine needles from their homes and dash them on the unyielding rocks.
The storm grumbles its pent up rage and it quickly builds in ferocity.Suddenly, with a single crack, the entire sky is illuminated, the island closes up within itself, trying to protect what has not yet been touched by the devil's forces. Bolts streak down from above, followed by deafening thunder. Lightning strikes the rock, hisses and a new hairline crack rapidly threads a pattern on the surface,dizzily spinning down into watery infinity. All this happens in a split second. The lightning, not being satisfied with its latest injury, springs up from the wound and pounces on another un-suspecting rock.Finally it loses momentum, fumbles and harmlessly strikes into the black boiling bay. The thunder churns across the sky and the lightning fades to the south, searching for one more virginal island.
The drenched foliage warily opens its leaves and the breeze begins to dry them carefully. A hint of sunlight shyly penetrates the thick pines and focuses on one drop of water hanging precariously from a needle. It crystallizes the drop and casts aspectrum of colours on the surrounding drops, until one side of the tree is suspended in a cascade of brilliant hues. More boldly shafts of light seek out even the tiniestpatch of moss and absorbs the excess water. The scrubbed rocks respond quickly to the sun and in moments they are dry and sparkling clean.
I take a deep breath of the pine-scented air and realize that it, too, has been thoroughly cleansed by mother nature. Searching the sky for a hint of the time, I see by the orange glow around the sun and the "pony's tails" drifting in front of it that it is near the magical hour of sunset. I clamber over the terrain, hurrying to claim my favorite seat among the trees for spectacular performance. There it is, a prominence of rock defiantly stretching westwards as if to rest the setting sun on its tip for eternity. A flaming globe silhouettes the windswept ragged pines in timeless splendour, the bay tinged with red laps at the edge of the sun and hungrily sucks it into the silent soothing depths. A loon calls ....