Stormy Moments

I came home from the grocery last night before all hell broke loose, parking my car out of the way of the gigantic tree that always seems to lose part of itself during heavy storms. The sky was still but a light grey, but the smell of rain was faintly present in the thick-as-molasses air. I let them cat out briefly, knowing he would come scampering back toward the door as the first heavy drops fell from the overburdened clouds.

I love that moment just before a storm rolls in, pregnant with possibility for disaster and destruction, that tense moment before all hell lets loose, electrical potential in the air like the smell of a grilled steak. The wind comes up suddenly, taking the atmosphere from calm and uncomfortable to harried and a bit cooler. Then comes the low rumble of the distant thunder, at first you hear it softly, then as it grows close, the noise is insistent, loud and subsonic at times. Then comes the rain, large drops falling first, thwacking against the glass in my windows as I sit on the couch.

The cats sit and play in the window while the patter of the drops against the panes grows more frequent, sounding like children playing with a telegraph. I look out at the storm, peering through venetian blinds, to see the layered ripples on the puddle that always forms in front of my stoop where the drain comes down from the upstairs apartments.

When the rain finishes, and I let Guinness out again, the sky has that yellow/orange tone that seems so magical after a storm. I consider bringing out my camera to capture it, but I know that some images just can’t be captured by CCD, and step out in the much cooler air. The plants seem to have gotten more green in the storm, as the Queen Anne’s Lace has perked up a bit after the rain. It must be fifteen degrees cooler now than it was at the start of the storm, some 45 minutes before.

Ahhh, how I love a good thunderstorm in the summer.

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