Saturday, May 30, 2015

Early Summer Thunderstorm

Something sounds like one of those maracas we had in music class in elementary school, a rhythmic rasp loud as the clouds move across the sky. A small thunderstorm rolls above me, silver bunting clouds against the deep grey. The neighbor across the street is finishing up working on his car and the cool storm breeze is full of the smell of ligustrum and potting soil. I didn't bother with a chair this afternoon; I didn't think it would take that long for the rain to start.

A few pelting clicks and the heavy drops have started to fall. The plant beside me whispers with a lizard leaping from pot to brick. More crackles of rain fall, although I can't see the drops on the fence or the path in front of me. More thunder, and then the rain falls in earnest. Perhaps a coach deep in the cloud has tired of the bravest drops diving invisible upon us.

Lightning sparks with the rush of rain and the smell of water finally gusts into the porch. The bushes have been trimmed and I worry that they don't shelter as well as they did the day before. I should go back inside and let the lizards and birds have the porch. The guy across the street is still watering something--his truck? A red leaf slides out from the bush nearest the porch.

I can see the underside of the oak leaves as the branches stretch up and over in a breeze I can't feel. A dark cloud like the head of a sea serpent rises over the roof of the house next door. I can here someone talking nearby. Perhaps I remain outside because of the recent flooding--nothing here, but you want to look this in the eye. Or keep washing your truck wheels.

They seem so close, the clouds that sink toward us against a white sky, pseudopods never reaching even the roof. Heavy rain spatters the sidewalk and a tiny shower of pelting mist fills the porch. An interlude, a teaser, for the storm outside. Too much water falls for my machine and the door opens behind me. Why am I still outside? I should come in.

Inside, all the shades are drawn and the house is dark. One dog settles in front of me and the other keeps his eyes shut tight in the corner of the couch. The rain is all sound, teasing out the aluminum in the chimney and stuttering over the roof. Speed and dynamics. A concert in the dark.

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