Summer storm

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. —Rachel Carson

The weather held off until I got home.

As I sat secluded in my office drafting a letter, the rains came, slowly at first, then falling with force, pummeling the back porch roof. Lightning flashed; thunder clapped. I worked feverishly, finished, and powered down the computer. Downstairs, my wife was placing platters of food on the table: sausage, scalloped potatoes, carrots. Soon my son’s SUV pulled into the driveway. We sat down to a nice meal and ate in silence.

Afterwards, we retired to the front porch to watch the storm pass overhead. “The clouds are so low they’re touching the treeline,” my son said. We looked up to see a jumbo jet rise above the far hills and sweep across the grey sky, then disappear into the fog.

Finally, off to the north the clouds began to break up, revealing a sliver of blue. Gradually, the rain tapered off and the blue splintered, bursting into a wide expanse above our heads, while off to the east a curious white wispy cloud drifted across a backdrop of yellowish grey. Suddenly, the feathered edges caught the rays of the evening sun, glowing vermilion.

The dog’s nose twitched between the spindles of the balustrade. We too sensed the clear cool air, drawing it down into our innermost parts — a cleansing coolness, clear shining after rain.



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