All day yesterday the air felt heavy and hot. Then, as dark fell the clouds sparked, caught light and set fire to the sky. The darkness blazed brighter than day and the hills seemed to roar in protest as the valley was ripped and rent by bolts of lightning streaming down out of the livid sky.
There was no love in the rain that came – it thundered, droplets joining and merging into solid spikes that pieced and cut. Here nets tend to serve for the windows that are almost never shut, but last night they could do little to bank the rivers that fell in shards, pouring through my window and soaking the room in seconds.
I have never seen such a storm and this house on the hill afforded a front row seat for the show.
Awestruck, dumbstruck, I didn’t know whether to run out and lose myself in the fury or hide under the blankets till the booms stopped shaking me. The sky caught my eyes and beckoned me closer, but fear kept me firmly inside!
I have always laughed a little at those who shrink from the power of the skies, fearful of lightning, falling trees or mayhem let loose. The odds seem with me and at heart I love storms, love the show of passion embarrassing our gentle British landscapes, temper drenching a land that often to me seems a touch too tame. But here the gods seem angrier, more vengeful.
In yesterday’s local paper I read an article about a Northern Ugandan state where a councilor is trying to force everyone to buy beds, since so many were killed by lightning strikes as they lay sleeping on the ground. I didn’t quite believe it as I read the words, but watching the skies rage it suddenly seemed a more plausible..
There is something both frightening and wonderful in the thought that things happen that are entirely against the odds, that life is not ordered by numbers calculated in tidy columns.
There is no formula. This is not Excel.
We fail when we feel invincible. We stumble when the path seems clear. We lose control in those odd moments when we believe we have it. Love blooms perennial as the grass. Less ordinary lives grow in mundane mud and people rise above all they are, all we think they can be, and flourish in the becoming.
Perhaps the odds are individual, changeable. Perhaps they shift when we do.
Life is lived on a precipice. It’s a fire in the sky, a beautiful flash striking through the dark night.
There is always a kind of magic, something else raging through the storm. Suddenly it seems that anything could happen. Anything is possible if you just step out into the rain.