Singapore likes to position itself as a gleaming metropolis in world affairs, sprawling from coast to coast of this small island, simmering in the heat of the noonday sun; but Nature knows better. We get too comfortable with who we are and where we are going, and Nature reaches out with unreserved power to remind us of the true order of things. We live under the delusion that we have her tamed, when she is simply keeping up appearances, perhaps to guard our fragile egos.
I too get a little big for my breeches sometimes and hang my thumbs from my belt-loops and swagger about, crowing over my achievements and readying myself for ill-advised adventure. That's when a monkey will climb the rails outside my flat and lightning flicker uselessly in the thick night air above me, and I will pause--village idiot that I am--to consider the implications, my brain moving sluggishly through congealed vanity. Low bursts of thunder will roll in the distant, rainless sky, and all that I have forgotten will come back to me at once, and I remember suddenly my very humble part to play in this world: I bow my head to say grace and feel small in the best possible way.