Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ghost Riders in the Sky

Nothing is as impressive and electrifying as, well, a Texas electrical storm. Lightening between the clouds on the horizon teases with a hint of impending powerful elements or titillates the visual senses with a tame lightshow. Close observation of the swiftly moving clouds may reveal the direction of the storm, but they can deceive as well as promise. Winds can suddenly shift, temperatures plummet, and barometric pressure swing wildly as a storm passes near or approaches.

I awoke in the middle of the night to a strong palpable smell of moisture and earth in the air. Arising from bed I watched lightening dance between the blue-black clouds in the northwest horizon. The still air and the haunting contrast of darkness blanketing the ground with the subtle flickering of light in the clouds presented a surreal world around me. Silence betrayed the distance of the storm and I returned to my slumber.

I was awoken again later in the night by a furtive wind, sneaking through the open windows and rustling the curtains. Lying in bed I pondered if my guest was an edge of the storm passing by or a harbinger of elemental fury. As if deliberately answering my questions, sudden gusts of wind shook the house and whipped through the windows. Anything light enough in the house and in the wind’s path scattered the floor like fallen soldiers beset by an army of omnipotent invisible beings.

Jumping from my warm bed, I was greeted by relentless and imbricating lightening and thunder, the light flashing all around me like strobe lights. Streaks of lightening seared through my vision, superimposed on the ground and the sky as if they were umbilical cords. I struggled against the wind to close the windows in the direct line of assault, leaving the opposite windows open to delight in the elemental fury upon me.

Standing in the middle of the house with the onslaught and fury of wind, rain, thunder and lightening surrounding me, electricity crept up my body, my skin tingled, my heart pounded harder with every close clap of thunder. Lightening strikes were close enough to deliver a luminance brighter than daylight albeit in a fraction of time and space. I felt like an immortal in a vortex of Nature’s chaos as the elements engulfed my senses.

As quickly as it descended, the storm passed me by. A gentle cleansing rain was left behind to clear the air and quiet the senses and heart. With a rhythmic and soft pattering on the windows and roof, I returned to a deep sleep and dreams.

Sure enough, Nature’s wild horses left me a reminder of their presence in the morning. I suspected during the night several strikes of lightening were close. Sure enough, the circuit board in my truck was blown.

Ah well. Horses leave behind roadside apples. Wild horses riding on the storm can leave behind mementos, too. Shit happens.

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