Thursday, June 30, 2011

photo free-write: thunderstorms, and what comes after


Photo free-write is regular feature on revisions blog. Each post includes a photo that inspired me in some way and the story, memory or reflection it prompted. These entries are as un-edited as I get here.

Thunderstorms are one of the best parts of East Coast summers. A Pennsylvania girl until I was 24, I was shocked when a friend who had moved from Southern California told me there were rarely thunderstorms where she grew up. What was summer without the frenzy of booms and bright flashes of lightning in the afternoon or evening? One time I drove to the airport to fetch this same friend when she returned from a trip to visit family, and not 10 minutes from our apartment a thunderstorm started, and the rain became so thick that I had to pull over until it slowed. In the parking lot where I stopped, water flowed like a shallow stream around car tires. And then, like that, it was over.

What I love most about thunderstorms is what comes after. The air that had been thick with humidity just minutes earlier is torn in two, like a veil. End even with sticks and leaves strewn about, torn off trees by winds and rain, a dead calm comes around. If we’re really lucky, the sun will start to show, giving us a rainbow or gleaming drops on green grass. It only lasts a minute, but if you’re still long enough to catch it, the moment is like a meditation. I guess you could say that thunderstorms remake us.

(photo by Melissa at boo21smom and, spotted on Poppytalk summer color week. She says, “The photo was taken on a road outside of Fredericksburg, VA during a thunderstorm in early June.”)

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