Thursday, October 9, 2008

Awe and Trembling

I started to make this a "my beautiful world" entry, but "beautiful" isn't exactly the word for it. Mother Nature sort of threw a hissy fit in these parts today.

A line of storms blew through here today that thrilled me and scared the hell out of me, sort of simultaneously. It has been a long time since I have seen the sky do some of the stuff I saw today. I didn't see the first line of storm clouds blow in. I sit with my back to the windows at work, so it sneaked up on me. When someone called it to my attention I started watching. It was totally awesome. First there was an almost straight line of purplish black gobbling up the still bluish sky. Then, suddenly, it was like nighttime. It was dark and threatening but, eerily, the air was perfectly still and it stopped raining. It was that still-point when Nature itself seems to be holding its breath waiting for all hell to break loose.

I could see in the distance that there was a LOT of rain and wind headed right for us. The clouds looked like they were boiling and I could see about three suspiciously tornado-like tendrils hanging down from some of the clouds. It was utterly beautiful, but I would have enjoyed it more if I were "safe" at home with my family rather than at work.

Some of the people were rushing to leave in order to try to get home before the storm broke. I was working on a project so I decided to stay put and wait for the storm to blow past. My theory was that violent storm cells like that rarely last long. A little while later the skies in the direction of my house brightened. The worst of the storm seemed to be heading the other way. I decided to make a run for it.

At first I thought I would be okay. The skies to in front of me were blue. The skies to the east were blue. To the north and west, well, it sorta looked like the skies at the beginning of The Wizard of Oz -- in black and white, because there was no color in that part of my world.

I prayed like mad for green lights. Unfortunately, I hit nearly every light red. Things
(like garbage cans, tree branches, and a saw horse) started blowing into the streets and kept creating obstructions to traffic which would have been hard enough to dodge in heavy traffic for drivers who could see where they were going. I was driving almost completely blind, so those flying objects really freaked me out, although I did find myself chuckling at the thought that perhaps I should watch out for flying houses... or at least old ladies on bicycles.

I eventually made it home just in time for a torrential downpour as I ran from my car. As awful as the drive home was, I'm glad I didn't stay at work and try to wait it out. It is after 8:00 PM and it's still storming off and on.

I know storms are dangerous, and I truly was afraid at times on my drive home, but I can't help it: I love storm clouds. (It's the damned lightning and wind that freak me out.)

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