As a kid, I always thought thunderstorms were the end of the world. When the sky opened up I genuinely thought the lightning marked the coming of the apocalypse. The thunderstorms at my beach house had a particularly malignant quality about them.
The little dandelion colored cottage, standing on ten foot stilts about five hundred feet from the beach, was supposed to sway when the wind exceeded 40 mph. But, I didn’t understand that. I half expected to hear the stilts split in half, and see the ocean to barrel down the street every time a thunderstorm rolled around. When the wind picked up and the house swayed under my feet, I would grow anxious. The T.V would flash water spout and flash flood warnings, convincing me the second coming was at hand. I’d follow my sister around for some sense of security, until she snapped at me and I’d run sobbing to my Barbies. Then, I’d pack up my things to prepare for an emergency evacuation. Yet, it never really did come to that. The storm would pass, and I’d eventually forget about it.
Oddly enough, as time passed, I’ve come to love the thunderstorms. I get weirdly excited when the boisterous, black clouds blunder in. To celebrate, I make myself a bowl of ice cream and stand out on the deck, which is completely covered by the roof, and watch the storm charge in. The white deck chair with the wide arm rest is my favorite place to sit. It is the perfect perch to go storm-watching.
The lightning can be seen before there’s any rain. Zeus’ lightning bolts come crashing down in a thick, blue hued jagged bolt, as he conducts his own cacophonous thunderstorm symphony. Even from the deck, I can hear Poseidon's waves eat up at the shore in a steady drum roll. In the day, I can even see the choppy staccato of white caps the ocean has become. But usually, Orion’s belt is obscured by clouds as storms sneak in at sundown. The air with the defined salty scent combines with the universal trademark rain scent that I’d probably wear as a perfume. When the rain comes it is a crescendo, starting with a drizzle and ending on a roaring downpour. With the rain are the cracks of thunder, like mother nature’s china being pushed over by some obnoxious cat.
I listen to the symphony and watch the light show as I eat my ice cream making commentary to my sister when a particularly stunning bolt of lightning flashes. We’ve given up trying to film it; things this extraordinary are never quite captured correctly on camera. Maybe it’s because pictures only capture the image. You cannot hear the thunder, smell the salt, or feel the spray of the rain -- seeing it just isn’t enough. You have experience it to really appreciate it.