Rounding the corner and accelerating eastward, I could not fail to notice a very large, and unusually lonely expanse of billowing white cumulonimbus, extraordinarily thick, like a monstrous cauliflower, roiling slowly heavenwards over the distant coast. Alas, my choice had been found wanting once again.
Minutes earlier, as is my common practice, I had checked the weather forecasts before deciding on four wheels or two for my journey to work.
“Morning Clouds. Warm; Rain –; Humid 33%; Max 29*;” said one.
“Mostly sunny; Chance of rain 40% (1-5mm); Humidity (a.m.) 76%; 25*;” said another.
“Take the rainsuit; just in case,” said the little voice.
Having turned out of the steep-sided valley in which I reside, it was now abundantly clear that the unspotted blue skies visible directly above my home had, once again, misled.
The rainsuit waiting expectantly in the throwover bag behind me now offered little by way of reassurance. Getting wet — or not — was of only minor concern; the rear tyre being worn right down to the tread bars rather more.
After all, what chance of that solo white cloud in an otherwise vast expanse of blue actually giving forth rain? Much less, my happening to be under it at the time?
Around 25 minutes further into my journey, now heading roughly northwards, the perspective — and the prospects of avoiding wet roads on a semi-bald tyre — looked decidedly different. What had previously appeared to my gaze as distant and white, was now very near and very dark. Several large wispy fingers reached down towards earth, partly obscured by a telling curtain of misty haze.
Moments later, I observed the first oncoming vehicles rounding the next bend with windscreen wipers on. Just around the same bend, a watery sheen on the recently-blackened road greeted my arrival.
“Don’t waste time stopping to put on the rainsuit. You never know; it might not actually rain on you. Besides, you will look like a bit of a wuss,” said My Ego.
“Stop,” commanded the still small voice.
I pulled off the highway and quickly suited up. A wise decision. Barely 500 more metres had ticked over on the odometer before the cloud burst.
Emerging from beneath the gloom and into bright sunlight some five or ten minutes later — dry, upright, and unharmed — I soon became aware of an enthralling spectacle laid out before me.
About two inches in front of my nose.
The happy sunbeams now raining down on my silver iridium bubble visor were having a remarkable effect on the many water droplets that had chosen to resist the temptation to fly off in company with the passing breeze.
Whether to credit the curved shape of the visor, or its reflective iridium surface, for the apparent transformation of clear, unremarkable dots of water into glistening, multi-faceted coins, each one changing momentarily from gold to silver, silver to gold, and back again, on that I cannot speculate.
Suffice to say, I am grateful that the road passed over was a highway, one with few fellow travellers.
For I can readily confess, that I found the treasures on the tip of my nose to be far more interesting and beautiful to watch than most anything at all beyond it.
Sadly, all too soon those same transforming beams of warming light began causing my gold and silver coins to slowly disappear.
And then, the highway ended.
With a roundabout.