Thursday, July 03, 2008

Lightning bug

Both these photos are from last year's trip to Wallowa Lake.

Last night we had the best thunder storm. The lightning was striking all around and above us, sometimes almost at the exact moment the bedroom lit up. Through all of this I was shocked that, while J and I lay there awake and drowsily enjoying the show, both boys slept. I won't say "like babies" because that would mean they woke repeatedly and needed help to relax. No, they slept like teenagers.

Storms have always had a special place in my psyche. When I was around 5 we lived on the outskirts of Helena, Montana in a house with a spectacular second story balcony providing a view of the valley and the lights of the city in the distance. It was a pretty vista even on an average day, but what sticks in my mind was that we would all sit on it after dinner and watch the lightning sweep across the scrubbily junipered sage speckled bowl. I loved everything about storms, from the way your chest walls reverberate sympathetically (Shostakovich 5 has tympani parts that do this) to the loamy smell. It always smelled like fresh clean earthworms to me. Wrinkle your nose if you will, I was a rock-overturning child and still appreciate buggy things.

When I was a little older, both Poltergeist and Firestarter made gathering storms seem even more important. The insane weather was one of the few things I enjoyed of my freshman year of college in Texas.

Like escaping for a few hours while somebody else takes the be-diapered reins, something about a storm makes me feel wild oaty. I wish Portland saw more of them.

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