Thursday, August 12, 2010


According to a weather website I visit more often than seems reasonable for someone who is not a meteorologist, it has been seven days since the last rain fell in my town. According to my memory, when there has been no rain worth mentioning in far longer. We need a good soaking rain, the kind of rain that makes an obvious difference for the garden and, less obviously, for the spirit.

A washout of a day forces us to confront the fact of weather and can, if we allow it, force us into a kind of acceptance in a way blue skies, sunshine and a freshening breeze never will. "What are you going to do? You can't stop the rain," we say.

This site also tells me that there has not been a lightning strike since July 21 at 21:29:50 (approximately 9:30 pm). As I am currently considering lightning from different angles—lightning as metaphor, lightning as a natural phenomena with the hope of understanding the mechanics of them (if "mechanics" is even the right phrase—my shaky grasp of science comes into play, again), lightning as transforming energy—this seems significant to me. Not that I wish for lightning; I fear electrical storms even though I am fascinated by them. But there is a part of me that is hoping for a good long thunderstorm with a light show worth watching so I can pay closer attention, bear witness to the awesome spectacle of that white-blue flash knowing as I do now that it is hotter than the surface of the sun.

I want to see what effect knowledge has on my fear.

So while I certainly have been enjoying some elements of these rainfree days—the swimming, the grilling, the sitting outside in the gloaming watching the bats dance for their meals—I've also been scanning the skies for the storm that I know is coming.