August 14th, 2006

rainy day


BANG! Sizzzzzz! I've read about the smell of ozone that comes after a lightning strike but I've never experienced it for myself, until today, and then it was several times in fast succession and through the windows of the car and several layers of sheeting water. When you want to find a metaphor for something that goes fast, it's easy to say it's fast as lightning, but when lightning is making the ground tremble and burning split-second forked pathways along your retinas, you suddenly realize that there is nothing to compare lightning TO. It's as fast as lightning! WHAM! A sizzlebolt of light slicing a jagged rip in the sky and disappearing so fast you think you must have imagined it, except there's that smell again.

The car is gliding on top of the water, on top of the asphalt, and the wipers are flicking back and forth, back and forth, fast, but not nearly as fast as lightning. In fact, in comparison they seem slow as molasses. Flick, flick, splat, splat, the water streams away in silver sheets. BOOMGRUMBLE! Thunder overhead and I can actually feel the hair on the back of my neck raising up and my shoulders hunching as I grip the wheel tight with both hands, 11 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions that will steer me safely through the fall of water. This is not simply rain, it's a fall of water. A water fall. All the rain we wished for and sighed after during the long hot dry days of summer has come down with a vengeance and smote us, yea verily!

With lightning banging down first to the left in the flattened timothy field and then to right where the rapeseed was, I felt as if the weather had a presence and it wasn't a pleasant one. It seemed malevolent, although that was probably just the barometric pressure. Hair frizzing in sympathy with the electricity in the air, I was simply glad not to be out in the rain, glad not to be walking with an umbrella, glad that cars have rubber tires to keep me grounded. I passed the river, swollen with new life and purpose, and a small herd of stoic cows, pressed heads-first into a corner of the fenced-in pasture, while the water beat them about the head and shoulders, slicking down their spots. Again, I'm glad no one is out in the rain because every few moments a great sheet of water flies up and away from the tires and flushes the shoulders of the road, washes down the sidewalks, flings itself against the fences. You'd be drenched, you would.

Imagine if you were a small bird in a downpour like that with the sky zapping frying shots around you like a huge and random bug-zapper. Cower under a branch, huddle tight to the trunk, and put your beak beneath your wing as the leaves stream down around you. Make yourself small and wait.
  • Current Music
    Glenn Yarbrough—Baby, the Rain Must Fall
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