Friday, July 17, 2009

It's just a thunderstorm ..

I sit on my back patio tonight, in a thunderstorm. It isn't particularly severe, but the rain is very much a welcome thing, after days of searing heat with only blue skies. The thunder is nearly continuous, the lightning stabs my eyes every few seconds, followed by the wonderful variety of thunder sounds: cracks, rumbling, lingering on until the next renews the cacaphony. God, I love it so ...

We were missed by this afternoon's first surge in northwest flow aloft. Alas, the early storms passed to our near east as they dissipated during the late afternoon. We did experience the outflow, as strong gusts pushing on the corn growing in our garden, but no rain. Our ground was cracked with parchness, begging for water. Soil shrinks as it slowly but inexorably dries under the sweltering heat. But tonight, we're blessed with another surge of storms, behind the first developments. Thunder and moderate to heavy rain. Cracks in the soil are filled with the expansion due to the rain. The sound of rain is mixed with frogs and toads, apparently stimulated by a blessed respite from the days of sweltering heat and searing sun without relief.

Tonight ... not only rain but that wonderful combination of light and sound that makes me spread my arms in happiness. I embrace the light of lightning and the sound of thunder. What a delight! The relief of days of heat is punctuated by the lightning and echoing rumbles and cracks of thunder. Alas, it moves on and diminishes. I could wallow in its sensory delights for the whole night, but it only persists for a half-hour or so.

Who can be unmoved by this dramatic light show and chorus, punctuated by the next flash and underscored by the lingering echo of the following thunder? Only a dead soul, unconnected to the Earth and its rhythms.

The ground smells of gratitude for the precipitation. Everything around me that lives is refreshed and invigorated by the rain. It speaks of the connection between the living, both animal and vegetable, and the unliving - the physics of the atmosphere sustaining all of us. We living things share not only our DNA - we share a connection to the nonliving processes that provide the environment we need.

I'm reminded of storms long past. The dwindling echoes of thunder sing not only of storms long gone, but of future storms. I can't help but look forward to the next. God help me ... I love them so.