Monday, May 22, 2006

An end to the drought, perhaps

I'm not sure why, but I feel like writing. And maybe it's because of the rain. It rained today in Colorado Springs. Of course, I wasn't able to avail myself to this beauteous event; I was inside, working, doing something. I was probably folding table tents for the next conference that my coworkers go to. Whatever I was doing, I was changing the world. But outside it was raining. And it was splendid.

I like the rain. I like the idea of it even more now that I live out here on the Front Range in Colorado, because it rains so very little. Well, it does sprinkle or shower every now and again. But rarely do we have the sort of storm that really makes you feel small and helpless and vulnerable. Those are the kind I like.

I was recounting to a coworker today the storm that developed in me a phobia of tornadoes. I was seven. I was on my cousins' farm just a few miles east of my hometown, having complete first grade. Where their farm is located happens to be the flattest place that I can think of. It's about as flat as the Bonneville Salt Flats west of Great Salt Lake. But maybe it seems even flatter because on the horizon there are no mountains. It's so flat. And there on the flatness my cousin and I spotted what we thought was an intense downpour, probably five miles to the northwest of where we were. But we went to get my aunt anyway. It seemed like the right thing to do. And she was smart enough to realize that rain bursts don't rotate in a conspicuously counterclockwise fashion, the way that this particular downpour did. So we headed for the basement. Later that night, my parents helped collect all the belonging from a family's house that had been literally destroyed, blown off its foundation. We washed so many clothes that night. The family lost everything. The tornado was rated an F-5 on the Fujita scale. It had swathed a path across the plains a mile wide. A mile. That's epic. As I told my coworker, "That's from here to Wal-Mart." The power that I witnessed in that storm stirred within me a paranoia of thurnderstorms that lasted for several years.

But as I said, I like storms now. One thing I like very much about thunderstorms are the clouds that they often leave in their wake. These clouds are so beautiful and distinct, their contours very pronounced. As I drove home from work today, I watched some of these clouds enshroud the top of Pikes Peak. It made for a striking scene. I told one of my roommates that I really like an abundance of clouds. Clouds, on any mountain, lend perspective to the grandiosity of the mountain that no blue-sky day every could. Clouds are sky. Mountains are land. When the two meet, I feel as if heaven is opening up, trying to tell me something. I'm not sure what the divine message is, but I relish every chance I get to listen for it, where the mountains touch the sky.

1 comment:

melissa said...

i am so glad you have written again. also am glad that your fear of thunderstorms has subsided... reading your thoughts on clouds & mountains reminds me of the john mayer song "3x5" - i was listening to it when driving to ft. collins for project, at the exact moment that you come over the hill and you see the mountains for the first time. it was a gorgeous day. there's a line in the song, "strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway." anyway, the song is all about how he's putting down his camera and vows to see the world through his own two eyes. don't know if you're a mayer fan, but you should be, and the song really is fantastic.