The usual Summer weather pattern for South Georgia is for there to be brief but intense rain showers almost every afternoon. They come spiked with a light show and the audio that accompanies such, and those of us who remember the world before the drought set in can remember many a Summer day when an inch of rain fell in less than an hour, and then the sun returned just a big and bright, and twice as hot, as ever. If the rain comes too early it’s like living in a sauna. But if the rain comes very late in the day, it cools things off wonderfully.
I unplug the computer at the first hint of bad weather. I lost a modem to lightning one night and I won’t do that again. As the sun sank into the west, the rain began to come down in buckets and the distant thunder crept closer. It’s was an odd sight, really; the sun was below the cloud line, yet above the horizon to there was light flooding in under the flood. I thought it might rain for an hour, tops, but it just kept coming. I was on a cordless phone, landline type, with a friend when the first good roll of thunder flicked its bolt of lightning my way, and ended that. No email, no landline, and when I tried my cell, it went out too. There was just far too much energy in the air for manmade equipment to work, and in these times, it’s better just to kick back and enjoy the show. There was little point in doing anything else.
I lay on the bed where Sam attached himself to me like a blanket. Bert isn’t afraid of bad weather, but Sam gets truly edgy. Bert on my right, Sam snuggled in on my left, lights off, and I can hear the rain pounding the roof. The lightning goes from bad to worse, and the thunder is making the windows shake.
I can see the entire room in blue, Sam slivers and tried to draw closer, and I flinch. There is intensity about this storm that I dislike, but at the same time, I know there isn’t anything I can do. It is what it is, it will do what it will do, and nothing I do will make me any safer, or any better prepared for whatever happens next.
FLASH-FLASH-FLASH! CRRRRRRRRRR-BOOOOOOOOOOM! FLASH-FLASH-FLASH!
This is an act of meteorological violence on a scale that stagers the mind. I can feel tremblers run through the house, as well as Sam. The windows rattle with the harmonics of the thunder, and I can hear the limbs of the trees outside whipping in the wind. For three and four seconds at a time I can see the room in brilliant color, both blue and a reddish kind of yellow. Sam rams his head under my chin, and Bert snores. Bert understands the comfort found in helplessness against such forces. It is what it is, it will be what it will be.
I drift in and out of sleep. I wake up when the light show, or Sam gets too intense, but as long as Bert stays put, I’m content to follow his lead. I wake up in total darkness and realize the lights have gone out. I wake up again and realize the lights are back on, so I turn them off. I wake up again, and Bert is wandering around the room, with Sam following.
I didn’t let them out in the storm, and they would not have gone anyway. So at two thirty, they have to go. I do too. We all go out into the dark aftermath and the world has changed. It’s cool, damp, and it feel fresh and clean. The frogs are cranked in the growing pond, and there is a light fog drifting over us. The storm is gone, but just recently so, and there is still rain falling off the trees, like procrastinating precipitation. The mutts head into the woods, noses down, tails up, and I can hear their paw falls as they move around, snuffling the new earth.