Big Bad Thunderstorm– what fun!

Posted on April 11, 2017


What a beautiful day for a walk; clouds full of water drizzling downward, air heavy and warm, sky rather foreboding. But it was time for a walk and I have an umbrella. Besides, who’s afraid of a big bad storm?

My umbrella is big and my gate was brisk feeling the energy that walking gives. The rain, how invigorating… exhilarating! Remembering a past revelation I had in a storm that I called Fighting the Rain. The lessons of that storm; so deeply ingrained within me bubbled up like a fresh brook.

Eyes wide open in wonder of nature.

Soul wide open and aware of its own inspiration.

thunderstorm3Heart wide open in wonder of life on this planet…

…our tiny lives on this tiny planet.

Feet still dry… while east of Eastern Ave.

Walking down Wealthy St, as I cross what seemed to be a threshold; continuing west of Eastern, the winds changed and began to whip me and my umbrella around like I was some sort of little guy. Shall I turn back? says a little voice of cynicism. Are you kidding me? This is just getting fun! Everything in me and about me was wide open; senses impregnated with the gathering storm. The storm had me already. It was in me. 

About three blocks further this gathering storm was no longer gathering. It had fully gathered… it seemed right above my head. Flash!!! So bright it dimmed my sight. Then Boom!!! So loud it hurt my ears! This repeated 6 or 7 times. It was after me, since there was no one else left on streets to chase!

thunderstorm2After jumping the deep part of puddles for a few blocks, the build up of runoff convinced me of the futility of dry feet. It was rather freeing to let go of dry feet as I became more conscious of water running over my shoes. As this consciousness increased, I also began to notice other things like the futility of the umbrella, clenching it perched over a soaking wet body from top to bottom thinking it was still important to keep the top of my head a little less wet. But mostly having nowhere to put the umbrella, I kept it where normal
people think it might do some good on a normal rainy day chuckling to myself about the absurdity of it over my head doing pretty much nothing except just posing itself as if for a picture. At this point, I noticed all of the people scurrying from from restaurants to cars, trying to run fast enough to miss the downpour, I guess. I laughed as I realized they were all running for home… and here I am still walking away from home. What fun!thunderstorm

After the third Boom!!! and Flash!!! Before it started chasing me. I stopped in my tracks, disoriented and looking into the sky wondering how close it might be to my head in all of its intent and determination to decimate any human pride under its gaze. As I looked upward for this menace of nature, I laughed until its next Boom!!! and Flash!!! Let’s run and get out of here says a Voice of Fear! Are you kidding? As I opened my mind and senses to all that was being offered and my heart to such invigoration and exhilaration; wonderfully full of wonder!

What could I exchange for this experience? Not much. Boom!!! and Flash!!! kept after me all the way back up the street after I reached my predetermined destination and turned toward home. I laughed as I occasionally could not resist turning to try to catch a glimpse and sense of this boom and flash as it chased me. I then walked slower to show that storm who’s boss. Well not really… but my resolve strengthened my intent and determination both to face this big bad storm AND to really enjoy it as I laughed at the wonder of its power. An even bigger smile emerged from my face as I past Wealthy Street Bakery. I glanced in the window and we were both sort of startled as I met with an equally big smile from an older black man from my neighborhood that was allowed to sit inside out of the storm without having money to buy food. He seemed to be cowering from the storm even though he was inside, face almost pressed against that window. I knew him to be the man that rides his bike by my porch several times a day tipping his hat in appreciation of the jazz I play for those that have ears to hear. I’m not sure if he was laughing at me or with me, but his smile was a big as mine. Either that or mine was as big as his. Levity was clearly present and both smiles were almost as big as the storm!

Interestingly, nature via thunderstorm seemed intent on obliterating man’s greatest power, technology. Before I began my walk, it knocked out my internet like yanking a rug from under my feet. How dare it! Now, as the wind and rain increase, I have a clear sense of intent. They were after my phone that I foolishly and purposelessly carried in my shirt pocket. Resisting the rain is quite pointless, a sort of chasing after the wind. So I was intent to not resist. But my phone is one battle I rose up to as I held my jacket to my chest with my umbrella hand, protecting my silly cell phone. When I got home, I noticed my hand unconsciously clenching my wet jacket and umbrella against my chest. Rather revealing of silly priorities.

As I approached home, heart full and open, smiling, I noticed all of the houses and businesses that had lost electricity. Yep. Big bad thunderstorm. I lent my big wet umbrella to one of my neighbors and gave him a candle that he requested. Then I sat on the porch, beer in hand, capturing in these words this nearly indescribable experience before it faded away. Squishy wet feet, heart full, laughing all the way.

Big bad storm… nothing’s too big to put in my heart.