Clouds


Pic of the day:  Cloud over Yucatan east coast, Mexico by Sensenmann

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I agree that clouds often look like other things — fish and unicorns and men on horseback — but they are really only clouds. Even when the lightning flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.

Stephen King, Bag of Bones

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Thunder had been sounding across the area for 20 minutes and the dark and angry clouds were moving due east as they always do, not moving at any great pace.  The temperatures were well above normal, nearly 80 degrees, hot for an early October and the wind was light and variable coming from the west, making the early autumn day feel more like a midsummer day.

On top of that the humidity which was high to begin with was rising noticeably and rapidly, making everything more and more uncomfortable outdoors.  The shirt stuck to my body slick with sweat as I walked among the trees.  Those trees swayed heavily in the breeze, and the clouds and the horizon began to perceptibly darken.  The edges of the clouds looked almost razor sharp, with small swirls of anger rising just beneath those edges.  The middles of the clouds bulged and pointed to a deluge in the immediate future.

And moments later the rains came.

A flash of light danced from the clouds and struck the ground about a half mile away, lighting up the entirety of the wood where I was walking, and thunder came quickly behind it shaking the ground.  The rain fell, but not so hard that I reached for the small umbrella that I had in my back pocket.  As I made the turn up the hill to head home I could feel the temperature dropping, which was a surprise.  I found the temperature change to my liking, and smiled as I looked up at the falling rain.

The second flash of light, this time the lightning stayed in the clouds, but as it was literally overhead the thunder was immense and immediate and shook the ground like a giant jackhammer and rattled the earth around me.  I ducked my head in response to the sound and quickened my pace rather sharply.

I again looked up I saw the odd silhouette of small fast clouds moving under slower larger clouds which were themselves moving.  It gave the impression of ominous speed and intention, as if the lower clouds were racing to get ahead of the larger ones to pour what they were on the world, to be the first in, while the larger gave the impression of giant ships lumbering laboriously towards some unimaginably huge enemy.

As the rain began to fall with greater and greater strength I felt the need to get out the umbrella that was sitting useless in my pocket.  I did not offhand mind getting wet but felt kind of silly to be getting wet while the means to keeping at least somewhat dry was planted in my hip pocket.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

 

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