It wasn’t that long of a heat wave.
The afternoon air hit like blast from an opening furnace when you walked outside, but the ground didn’t crack, and the grass underfoot scarcely crunched. The cicada song was persistent but not yet maddening.
Still, when the thunderstorm hit on Thursday night, it was an event.
Jack and I sat on the screen porch, watching the wind pick up. The leaves rattled inside out, and then the branches high in the persimmon began thrashing back and forth. The first flares of lightning might have been no more than a streetlight coming on, or headlights sweeping a lawn, but then the flashes became insistent, and thunder followed. I went out to the driveway and turned around, looking at the sky, the storms flaring west and southeast.
“Are you doing a rain dance?”
The rain started as the hard pelt of single drops, and then the full storm arrived, rain blowing and pounding, filling the gutters, running in the street. Limp plants seemed to ease lower under the weight, drooping closer to the soil but with a resilience that promised a fresh morning.
The lightning got pretty intense. Jack delights in storms, the light-and-sound spectacle. I like the approach better, the waiting, the held-breath time. I still get a little nervous when the lightning is close. My mother’s house was struck by lightning and burned to the ground when she was a child. We never took lightning lightly. Maybe having my sister and I come down from our upstairs bedrooms and sit on the couch wearing our rubber boots as insulators was unnecessary – still, I felt safe.
The storms rolled past and the rush of cool air that followed reminded me that it is late July, soon to be August. The dog days are still ahead, but September is in sight.