The black skies and rolling rumbles of thunder amaze me. In just a few short minutes, this type of deep weather can turn an entire day inside out. Outdoor plans are postponed or cancelled. Dry clothes hanging on the line are soaked and splattered with mud before they have had a chance to be collected. Dogs cower under tables. Wet paper grocery bags tear just before we reach the doorknob. Lights flicker. Contractors must pack up their gear and try again later or maybe even the next day. Mailmen get soaked.
To many people, these can be big inconveniences. But, I rather welcome them (particularly because they don’t happen all the time.) Summer thunder has the same effect on me that a Nor-easter dumping eleven inches of snow has (although in a much swifter and less all-consuming manner.) A heavy, powerful thunder storm causes me to stop what I’m doing and take notice. I get to move outside of the mundane monotony of daily routines and look around. Leaves turn their silver undersides upward. Birds take cover. Lawnmowers stop their interminable whining. NPR’s broadcasts crackle. Thunder storms help me to take a breath and live in the present- if only for ten minutes. When they are done, I am refreshed. Maybe it’s the electrical charge or maybe it’s just because I’ve witnessed a sudden change in plans that I had no control over, but whatever the reason, I welcome the reprieve.
In a short while, the birds will begin chirping again and the driveway will start to steam and dry up. The dogs will beg to go outside and the children will run out to splash in the hot puddles. The traffic will pick up on the road outside my window. The barn doors will need to be re-opened and the animals set out to pasture again. It will soon be time to sit down at my desk once more and continue working. But, now, for just a few more minutes, I can wait and listen to the deep grumbles of the clouds and breathe.