It starts in the sky. Clouds darken, fill, blackening the horizon. Moments later, a distant rumble, a flash of lightning…all signs of an incoming summer storm. I grab my camera and dash outside to meet it, mood whipped into a frenzy from too many phone calls, too many distractions. I need a moment with Mother Nature, and she’s going to provide me with a temper tantrum much like the one I’ve been craving to throw all day.
The temperature, 100 degrees in the shade, begins to plummet as the storm crosses the sun’s path. The wind picks up, howling between the buildings, whipping the tree limbs back and forth, like She’s waving a white flag–begging to release the fury. The sky darkens to a deep indigo. The weather vanes quiver, then begin to spin.
All the frustration, irritation, and anger I’ve felt in the last few hours start to pop up to the surface with each picture I take. My fingers tingle. I take a breath in, let it out, trying to calm my frazzled nerves. As the storm builds around me, I feel my tense muscles begin to release. And then–a flash of lightning splinters across the sky. “One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand,” I mutter under my breath. It’s closing in. It’s coming. My bruised emotions are drowning in the excitement of the brewing storm.
As the first few raindrops kiss my forehead, I lift my camera and snap pictures of the clouds rolling in. The timpani of the thunder matches the beat of my heart. The little hairs on my arms begin to stand on end as the heart of the storm gets closer, closer, closer.
The raindrops grow fatter, dampening my hair, sliding down my neck. And still I snap as many photos as I can while shielding my camera from the oncoming deluge. The clouds reach their boiling point, wind howling all around me, and yet, for the first time all day, I feel calm.
When the bottom drops out, and the rain comes down in sheets, I retreat indoors to watch the storm from the window. Mother Nature is unrelenting, pounding the pavement in her midnight blue high heels, washing away the heat of the day with her summer storm. I sit and watch, enthralled, the chill from the air conditioning setting into my bones. The phone rings; I ignore it. And sink into the calm after the storm.