Yesterday we finally received significant rain for the first time in many weeks. It’s been one of the driest summers we’ve had in this region since I first moved here over 10 years ago. I know for certain it hasn’t been this dry since I moved into my house in August of 2011 because I’m quite sure I’ve had to mow every week through spring and summer up until this year.
While I don’t miss the mowing, the lack of rain had turned every surrounding stream to dry rock beds. My yard felt like solid rock whenever I walked on it and looked like a desert filled with dead, yellow grass. I had to water my small trees and any outside plants every morning to help them survive the hot, dry weather. Any days I forgot to water my plants resulted in dead or dying plants and I think next year I’ll plant a few less pots.
There have been many days when the forecast predicted thunderstorms but they’d all pass to the north or south or evaporate before reaching this area. I was therefore skeptical when I saw the colorful blob of precipitation on the radar of my weather app. I wasn’t certain it would make it this far and actually drop rain if it did.
Fortunately, the storm clouds held together and thundered over our area dropping a substantial amount of much needed rain. I’d forgotten what wet roadways looked like! There were two big rounds of storms that swept through yesterday and when I took Jazzmin out into the yard afterwards, I was amazed to feel that the ground was slightly squishy and wet beneath my bare feet. It wasn’t like walking on rock anymore and I reveled in the softness from the rain.
Seeing my deck wet and my birdbaths overflowing with rain were welcome sights after such a long period of dryness. I’m sure the earth, trees, plants and animals were all extremely grateful for the rejuvenating softness of rain.
From my western facing deck I always have a great view of the incoming weather as it makes the way across the valley and to the hills where I live. On clear days, I can see blue sky stretching into the horizon and on stormy days, I can see the dark clouds slowly swallowing the blue in flashes of lightning and visible lines of rain as they approach.
Today was one of those stormy days and although it wasn’t raining when I put Jazzmin out this morning, the air was thick with humidity and the breeze promised additional moisture. The air was cool but not cold and I watched later as the storms approached, changing the sky from dark to darker.
When particularly turbulent storms approach, full of rumbling thunder and flashing lightning, I love to stand on my deck and watch them grow closer. Especially in summer when it’s been a hot day and I can just feel that the storm is going to bring relief. There’s something so raw and beautiful about the power of mother nature as she stirs up the wind and brings the rain that drenches the earth.
I can still feel that power even after the rain stops as I walk into the wet grass with bare feet. It’s as if the pulse of the ground received an energetic jolt from the storm and I can feel the heartbeat of the earth much more vividly. I often close my eyes when I’m standing in the grass to feel the breeze upon my face and listen to it whisper of more beautiful storms to come.
I love watching and listening as a storm rolls in like it did this evening. The sky darkens, the breeze picks up and thunder rumbles across the sky. Sometimes it sounds like the thunderclouds are talking to each other as a rumble from the the north is answered to the south. Eventually the rain starts and I have to retreat inside from the deck but I continue to watch through the windows. If I’m really lucky, the sun pops out amid or after the storm and I’m treated to a beautiful rainbow as I was this evening. Rainbows don’t rumble but they speak volumes in their wondrous colors.
I enjoy thunderstorms. I’m not exactly thrilled when they knock out my power, but I enjoy watching them roll in across the sky. I was afraid of thunderstorms when I was a child. My parents would comfort me during them by saying the thunder and lightning were spirits bowling up in the clouds. That seemed reasonable to me and it made listening to storms more fun as I waited for the sounds of strikes and gutter balls. Nowadays I like to imagine my father bowling up among the clouds and the loudest booms resemble the jaw-dropping force of his strikes. I tell my daughters the bowling analogy and Jordan has a way of adding on to that by talking about the rain being the leaking water bottles of the athletes. I prefer that idea over the rain being their sweat…
I am fascinated by the sight of lightning flashing among dark clouds in the distance. Watching the visible line of hard rain approach has mesmerized me to the point of forgetting I need to go inside before I become drenched. I have even washed my hair in an overflowing downspout. It wasn’t as alluring as those shampoo commercials but it was very refreshing!
I have been told that I am less than sane to go running out into the openness of my back yard to watch a thunderstorm approach. But there is something so empowering and energizing about the force of wind and billowing darkness of the clouds. Feeling the earth tremble beneath my bare feet as thunder rolls is a vivid reminder of the unbridled strength of Mother Nature.
Being awakened from a peaceful slumber by the loud booming of thunderstorms makes my heart race but I’m not afraid of it any longer. I open my curtains to watch the lightning flash or remain laying in bed as the light strobes through the fabric and illuminates my room. Mother Nature is unpredictable and uncontrollable and she and I don’t always see eye to eye. But I will give her credit where credit is due and continue to appreciate the humbling strength and beauty of thunderstorms.