Well it is May, and it is showering so I guess that is true, but about the only thing ‘flowering’ are those hardy tulips and daffodils. After an afternoon of garden cleanup on a record setting hot day for May, those were the only flashes of color I saw. Still, the ground has finally thawed and the perennials are struggling to catch up.
I can’t say there is much I’m a fan of with respect to living here in the frozen hinterlands, however, an exception are the storms that roll in across the plains bringing thunder and lightening.
Having grown up in the Pacific NW, We lack that broad open sky that the great plains affords. As such, lightening was not nearly as spectacular. Oh, as Oregonians we were ‘blessed’ with rain alright, lots and lots of rain. We natives jokingly teased newbies we were born with webbed feet. Lightening, however, was not nearly as associated with storms as it is here.
Here, the lightening can be seen for miles and what a spectacular show it is! There are three types of lightening that come to my mind. First are the traditional cloud to ground. The type I grew up with. Gigantic bolts followed by the ‘CRACK’, and sonic booms so loud the windows on my house shake and you can feel the concussion. I’ve had them so close to the house I feared we’d be struck. In fact, my neighbor was struck and it took out her power. We’ve had houses burn down with lightening strikes. With that type of lightening, we nearly always hear the sirens, warning people to get off the golf course and under cover.
Second is the lightening that ‘crawls’ across the sky. It looks like a spider-web canopy of light filaments shooting across the sky. The clouds are high above with lightening underneath, a perfect backdrop to showcase its beauty. It’s breath-taking, and many times I stand at the window of my bedroom on the second floor so I can see the entire skyline and just take it all in. The thunder associated with this lightening is rolling, like the swells on the ocean. It’s more rhythmic and sounds almost like a tympani drum. This lightening is my favorite.
The last is what I’ll describe as flashlight tag by the angels. The clouds are like a blanket cover overhead and the flashes of lightening are high above them. All I see from my vantage point are pulses of light. It’s as if the angles themselves are playing flashlight tag high above our heads. Sometimes I can hear the distant rumbling of their feet, sometimes not. Sometimes I picture them tip toeing above the clouds, waiting to silently sneak up on their opponent.
And so I sit here at my kitchen table sipping a steaming cup of coffee and watch the gentle rain, listening to the gentle rumble of thunder after a flash of light, I wonder what this spring season holds for us. Will we be the northern tip of tornado alley, bringing it’s thunder, lightening, wind and hail? Or will the good Lord give us a reprieve after a brutal winter. All I know is that winter has finally released it’s grip and summer is soon to follow. Halleluja.