Monday, August 29, 2011

Fireworks ain't got nuttin' on Mother Nature

Last night I was reminded of yet another reason why I love the end of summer: thunderstorms.

If you missed the storm last night, you missed out :) This wasn't your typical Utah storm of a few feeble rumbles of thunder, no rain, and static electricity illuminating the clouds every so often. This was the real thing: pouring rain, wicked streaks of lightning, and roll after roll of booming thunder. The last time I was so transfixed by a thunderstorm was a lifetime ago when we were parachuting Barbies off the roof (FYI, testing out your dare-devilness on the roof while a thunderstorm is building in the distance is not the brightest idea in the world).

Last night's storm was underway by about 10:00 p.m., and the persistent rumbles from outside my window tore me away from my nighttime routine to the balcony of my apartment.

The communal firework shows of July 4th and 24th had nothing on the show nature put on last night.

The storm was literally a fierce war between two powers: the north and the south. As the unbiased referee right smack in the middle of the battle, I couldn't tell you which side was more impressive. Just as a rumble would be building to the south, the north would expel an ear-splitting boom that rattled my eyeballs in their sockets (okay, not really). Not to be outdone, the south would immediately follow up with with an equally impressive explosion, and vice verse. Each side was constantly warming up for the next impressive production of noise, at times sounding like the mountains themselves were groaning in protest, and it kept me riveted for a good 45 minutes.

And you can't forget the role lightning played in the awesome battle of nature. The sky was illuminated every three seconds with long, jagged streaks of lightning that spread in multiple directions and left an impression in the sky for minutes after disappearing; lightning would discretely light up the clouds as if someone were adjusting the lighting on an immense stage; and floods of light would periodically appear in the distance. The lightning hosted its own battle of impressiveness while thunder raged on either side.

To top off the night, after I had satisfied my pyrotechnic fascination, I settled down and read my (albeit boring) book for a few minutes, and then snuggled into my warm covers and fell asleep to the comforting sounds of retreating thunder. I don't know why falling asleep to thunder is comforting, but it is. Something about being safe in your warm bed while nature fights itself out. I don't think thunderstorms even scared me as a kid. The only thing I can remember is that episode of Under the Umbrella Tree when Holly tells her . . . friends (I can't remember exactly what her "friends" were) to count off seconds between the lightning and the thunder to measure how far away the storm was.

And finally, this morning was blessedly cool and was encompassed with the refreshing, sweet smell of rain. Thunderstorms rock. I can't wait for the next one.

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