Ever since I was a kid, I've had a love for thunderstorms.
I love the building suspense in the air as a storm approaches. How big is this storm going to be? I love watching the sky change as the the flashes jump between bruised clouds. I love the ear-splitting cracks of thunder when the storm is directly above: as a kid, counting one thousand, two thousand... I love the relief that comes with a storm. There's no better way to finish off a hot day in Sydney than with the storm that's likely to end it.
Years later, as J became familiar with my storm love, he told me it was because I was born in the Year of the Dragon, and the Chinese used to believe that thunder was the sound of dragons clashing in the sky. I loved that idea.
I don't really identify with horoscopes - never viewed myself as a proper Aries - but something about being a dragon appeals to me. For many years, I told myself if I ever got a tattoo, it would be an oriental dragon. Dragon tattoos may be a little clichéd to some, but it's less so if I am a dragon, right? Not everyone else with dragon tattoos are dragons.
(I never did get that tattoo. The publication of a certain bestselling Swedish novel killed that idea swiftly, although I read the trilogy, saw the films... and loved it all.)
This week has brought the Lunar New Year, completing three full cycles in my lifetime under the Chinese horoscope. The last time it was Year of the Dragon, it was 2000 and full of adventure - it was an amazing year.
To all the dragons out there: this is our year and it's going to be great.