A Refreshing Storm

Our grass had begun to turn brown and even some trees were beginning to look ragged. It had been a long time since we’d had a really good rain, a long soaking rain. But today it came, along with thunder and lightning, the fireworks! It is still raining as I type and I can hardly keep from gazing out the window through dripping magnolia leaves, past a huddling, grateful dogwood, down to the slick street.

It started slowly, not in a sudden fury like some storms. It has sprinkled so many times and then turned to sunshine I wasn’t sure whether this storm was being truthful or not. Even a sprinkle, though, is something to be thankful for, and I delighted in the fresh scent of raindrops on pine and magnolia. As I went about small jobs, I kept glancing out the window. It would have been a good time to pull out my knitting, or make a big pot of soup, or curl up in a chair with a book, or even write a book! But I was too enthralled in watching the storm to do anything very constructive.

 A distant rumble became a closer and closer rumble and the raindrops increased to a deafening dance on the roof. I found it impossible not to stand in front of a window and watch the lightning and the rain. The greens and browns blurred into a wet scene, puddles quickly appeared, birds completely disappeared, the flag whipped wildly in the wind (sorry, I’m not good about getting flags in out of the weather!). Rain blew against window panes, rain drops hitting almost as sharply as if they were hail stones. There was a beautiful rhythm to the rain and lightning and thunder.

I was so enjoying the storm–the sounds, the sights, the scents–when suddenly lightning struck very close and the thunder was quick behind it booming like an angry cannon. I jumped almost out of my skin and exclaimed out loud. I knew the feeling of having “my heart in my throat.” I was sure, then, I’d see a tree with a streak down its trunk or find out my computer had been hit. That was only the first of many nearby hits, or at least they sounded very close. Again and again the lightning flashed against darkened pine stems and the thunder cracked and grumbled and boomed. And the rain came down in sudden floods, then let up just a bit, only to rush against the house again in a fury. I was thankful for a sturdy house with good windows and walls between me and that pounding storm!

Only now, an hour later, is the thunder waning into the distance. And still the rain is falling, though gently. What a wonderful storm! Now water glistens on magnolia leaves, dripping from one layer to another. A soft after-storm light brings out a sparkle in individual rain drops hinting of rainbows. A squeaky little tree frog becomes quite vocal somewhere nearby, glued against a dark dogwood trunk.

But I do worry about the line of noisy fire trucks that passed our place while ago. I wonder if someone’s house was struck by lightning or what other tragedy may have happened during that storm. So far, I see nothing amiss here, but sometimes well after the storm, we find a tree has been struck. Beautiful storms are not without their searing damage.

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