Aida Zabidi
Have you ever tried to outrun the storm? 

I still remember it so clearly. 

We were out on a kayaking trip in Krabi when our guide told us to turn back. As we turned our kayaks around and saw the gathering storm clouds, I understood why. 

There is something magnificent about the view of gathering rainclouds over the open sea – the dark, ominous cumulonimbus clouds bearing towards your direction over darkening waters; something primal about nature that makes you realize how truly small and vulnerable we humans are. 

We tried our best to pick up our pace. We paddled as hard as we could, our paddles cutting through water with an energy that we didn’t quite have on our way out. We would turn to the side and look at the advancing clouds every now and then, gauging how far we had to go before we would reach. We were trying to outrun Mother Nature herself. 

The initial adrenaline rush was eventually overcome by exhaustion as the waves became more choppy and the winds started to blow against us – as the seas turned a dark green, I quickly put on my windbreaker with a prayer on my lips that we would hit the land before the storm arrived. 

And then the storm hit. 

It was torrential rain, and it was cold. Rivulets of water ran down my face, and it became harder to see land through the heavy veil of water. It was almost anticlimactic after all that effort to try and reach land before the rain hit, and we slowed down and made our way through the waves at an easy pace.

As with rain in the tropics, the shower was quickly replaced by a drizzle and it became almost pleasant to paddle in the rain. It was almost like a hush had fallen over the sea, and as the waves calmed, we lazily paddled our way to shore in the soft misty glow of sunlight streaming through raindrops. 

I love how connected I felt in that moment in time, with everything around me in a strange kind of stillness. As the dampness slowly dried I became acutely aware of all my senses, and it felt like we had underwent a cleansing of sorts. 

Perhaps we did – a cleansing of our souls to a return to nature, in a way. Living in the city can feel very far away from nature, and it was beautiful to be able to experience it the way we did.
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