Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer's Thunder Time of Year...The Sound of Music In My Ears

Summer thunderstorms bring back a rush of memories:

 - Summer in the country. In the distance, the horizon suddenly darkens. The wind starts gusting as the temperature drops ten degrees in a matter of moments.  The squall is on you before you have a chance to make it to cover.  Flashes of lightning, so blindingly white as the crack of true thunder echoes in you ears.

 - Thunder at home.  Hiding in my room.  The thunder outside dimmed only by the thunder of pounding hands on my door, the thunder of my mother shouts.  The insults the screaming.  Punching the wall.  Pain.  Ragged knuckles.

 - Summer in the country  - laughing in the rain.  Running through a wet field, kicking up puddles with my bare feet.  Lifting my face to the rain and letting it cleanse me - inside and out.

 - Lightning at home.  I.  Hate.  You.  Did she scream it?  Did I?  Did it really happen?  Did it happen 100 times?  Who was the bigger person?  Wrong question.  The right one is who was the smaller person?  Who should have known better?  Who should have loved?


When I'm in the burbs, and a storm is blowing in, my first thought is to go out to the porch, the deck, the yard.  I'll sit on the steps and watch it make it's slow progress.  First the sky blackens, then distant flashes and rumbles.  The wind blowing leaves around in empty spaces.

As you might have realized about me, I'm given to great bouts of contemplation.  I like to reflect on things - the good and the bad.  In some ways it's a good thing.  In others, well let's just say some dark things aren't really good to dwell on.

Yet, there I sit, watching the approaching storm.  And my mind will be blown back, with the wind, to certain places, certain spaces. Sometimes the room is light.  other times I'm in such a black place that I feel a sudden dread, one which cannot be attributed to a sudden flash of light or a clap of sound.

And it's in those moments, when I'm back in dark places, and I'm working them through, that I truly find out what I am.

Who I am.

How far I've come.

And where I still need to get to.

Because I know, despite the progress, that the retreats back into the black past mean I haven't yet gotten to where I need to be.  And while I'm not sure I'll ever truly be there, I know that I keep trying.  And the more I try, the more I succeed.  Maybe on day one you can only punch the wall once, but after a while your hands no longer feel the sting.  Such is progress.


So the clouds darken, the wind picks up as the temperature drops.  The skies flash and boom.  And I'm remembering my trip to the mountains with David and my friends from two summers ago.  And the memory is delightful.

And that's progress.


  1. The best summer storm I experienced was in Nebraska. Golf ball sized pieces of hail and a pitch black sky mid July. Having snow in the Colorado Rockies late July was also kinda cool. Here in Cali we don't get that sorta stuff. We have a nice, hot and dry summer.