As the darkness rose in the south and east, the western sky was still Maxfield Parrish blue, laced with rose gold clouds.
The sky began flare and flash, thunder rumbled and there I was, still a mile from home. A flock of birds that had settled on a power line lifted en masse and flew west. Damn, I thought; that can't be a good sign.
Then, there it was, silver lightning splitting the sky, a flash and then gone. People were coming out of their houses, bringing their children out into the middle of the street to watch and I wanted to scream at them, are you nuts??? Get the hell inside!! Six blocks to go and I began to run. Please lord, don't strike me down. Spare me over to another day.
I got home just as the fat raindrops began to fall and stood on the front porch as the storm flashed and rumbled brighter and louder. As I watched the rain picked up and the lighting and thunder came continuously, non-stop, until a blazing, blinding, brilliant bolt struck and thundered so loud it sounded like the sky had cracked open. It was right on top of me. I ran inside in terror as it began to pour.
It was over in 30 minutes. Everything got a good soaking and I don't have to water tomorrow. It was 100 degrees today, but it's lovely and cool now. My only lingering fear is whether the lightning started a fire out in the Colestin. Sequoia and I had one of our periodic talks about what to save in a fire: two trunks filled with family heirlooms, the photos stacked in Kiva's old room, the computer hard drive. We both know full well that, if the shit goes down, the only thing he really needs to save is himself; the rest of it is just stuff.
I remember my brother Greg and I sitting with Aunt Bobbie on the back step of grandmother's house, watching a raging thunderstorm. I don't remember where my parents were, but they were not with us.. Greg and I were terrified and Greg started to cry, but Bobbie kept telling him, "Don't be scared of the thunder and lightning. That's just God talking and God would never hurt you." Ah, the lies we tell our children to keep the terror at bay.
I hear copters flying, looking for fires. It's going to be a long night.