Friday, August 12, 2005

Off Roller Coaster...Into Storm

Spent several hours last Saturday and Sunday coloring the “Simple Still Life” challenge photo and got so excited decided to join the fun. Requested the link, it arrived and nothing more got done with that, as the roller-coaster of daily activities took off in various directions. It occurred to me that even the wildest roller-coaster comes to a regular stop---the important part is to enjoy the ride, but remember to get off or it just keeps looping over and over. So…it’s Friday…it’s stopped…I'm getting off ....

The peaceful weekend started with a HUGE thunderstorm that tore through the area like a hurricane and cut off electrical power from Friday evening to Saturday late afternoon. It was incredible, beautiful and frightening.

I was watching TV and reading during commercials, when it became obvious that the sky had gotten dark gray and rain was falling heavily. When I heard thunder in the distance, decided to turn off the TV and unplug the computer in the studio. The sky was totally gray and the rain was pouring, as lightening streaks increased and the thunder got louder. The trees outside were being whipped around by the wind and the driveway outside the window was streaming with rainwater.

It looked so fascinating that I opened the front door to try to watch from there. Big mistake. The wind threw the door open out of my hand and the rain washed over me like a bucket of water. I was so shocked both at being instantly soaked and at my stupidity, that I burst out laughing and struggled to shut the door against the wind and rain. Couldn't believe a scene out of an old b&w movie when a stranger knocks at the front door during the midnight storm and the loner on the heath is allowed in soaking wet, as the rain and wind try to follow. Wished I had a fireplace...

I moved the wingback chair by the large living room window, pulled back the sheers and opened the shades for a full view of the storm. Living theater. Knelt on the chair seat with arms resting on the back and watched as the sky lit up, constantly flashing with a brilliant light that regularly blinded me and I had to look away. By now the rain was a solid sheet of water and you couldn't see the trees through it---and they were right there on the other side of the yard! Only a faint gray outline in a few spots witnessed their presence. The lightening was like a strobe, bright, sharp and constantly flicking on and off. It was hard to believe the world could light up, on and off, so quickly.

The power went out within the first half hour so I was in pitch black darkness, making the lightening flashes even more awesome as they lit up the entire living room in a cold white flicker. The thunder shook the house. You could hear the crack of breaking tree branches, but you couldn't see where they fell. I thought of watching lightening storms in Tuscon Arizona, years ago, as we'd sat on the porch eating dinner, four of us in a row so everyone could see the lightening sizzle down across the desert. This was better. I thought of being at my sister's in the Catskills, where thunderstorms rumble through the whole valley. This was louder. I remembered that you're not supposed to sit near a window during a lightening storm, but I was mesmerized. It lasted a very long time...I was praying. Finally the thunder's rumbles grew fainter, the wind settled and the rain remembered how to shower down gently. Awesome.

Noticed candles appearing in neighboring windows. Decided to go upstairs by flashlight and simply go to bed. My nerves and senses were on overdrive. A short meditation and then sleep. Thank God it was over. It wasn't until late the next afternoon, after the power returned that I ventured out of the house and drove around the area and discovered all the torn trees and branches tossed onto cars and houses. Beautiful huge oaks and maple snapped like toothpicks. Debris everywhere. God definitely pruned his garden this time.

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