The Bolt

I watched it for miles, mocking the 10% chance of rain predicted, saying “they meant 10 x 10%”.

IMG_3586I drove south through red Native American desert. The yellow and green monsoon grasses sharply contrasted the the burnt red and orange of the rising rock formations and callous rocky dirt landscape. The storm rose over the desert, stretching for miles to the east and west, billowing gray clouds that melted into white sheets of rain, which danced underneath.

Unable to discern how far away, the anticipation of my entrance went on for an hour, like the excitement before entering a haunted house on Halloween. Charged with desire, retreating with fear.

“What would be there?”, I wondered.  I was in a car, safe. Traffic moved onward at a steady pace, and so must I.

The first sign was a light sprinkle, like when you first enter a car wash and they spray rainbow toxic colored soap all over your car in tiny spurts. Then increasing momentum, until small eddy’s were forming over the windshield.

Wiper speed increased. Vehicles ahead were more difficult to make out. BAM, a lightening strike. The boom felt initially in my heart, sent sharp pulses down my arms, making me grip the steering wheel more tightly.

Windshield wiper speed turned up and up and up. Cars pulling off to the side of the road, making the space to drive smaller. Flashing red hazard lights illuminated my path. Hail began knocking on the windshield and ping the car metal. Increasingly unable to hear all else. Louder, I started to fear damage to my vehicle and my ears were ringing. I scooted closer to the steering wheel, peering over the top, never losing sight of the hazards in front.

And then the eddy’s on my windshield subsided, and the wipers worked again. The plop, splat, ding of the hail gave way to large, soft rain drops.

The clouds parted, I could see an opening on the horizon.

IMG_3175Suddenly from beneath the still lingering, dark clouds I saw a white arm reach out from the sky and lunge towards the earth with the fierceness of a world war. Slamming the earth, it spread desert grasses in all directions. It stayed, reverberating, contemplating whether to remain. The tip seemed to reject contact, and turned tail light red before retracting to it’s dark den in the clouds.

My co-pilot and I looked at each other, eyes and mouths open, no words.

In moments the wipers were switched off. The sun moved in from under the darkness and I had arrived to my mountain home, where white puffy clouds lounged above the peaks.

I looked in the rear view mirror at the terror behind me. Spared from Mother nature’s mighty hand again.

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