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散文佳作108篇 第71期:Glories of the Storm 辉煌壮丽的暴风雨




Glories of the Storm


It begins when a feeling of stillness creeps into my consciousness. Every thing has suddenlygone quiet. Birds do not chirp. Leaves do not rustle. Insects do not sing.


The air that has been hot all day becomes heavy. It hangs over the trees, presses the heads ofthe flowers to the ground, sits on my shoulders. With a vague feeling of uneasiness I move tothe window. There, in the west, lies the answer - cloud has piled on cloud to form a ridge ofmammoth while towers, rearing against blue sky.


Their piercing whiteness is of brief duration. Soon the marshmallow rims flatten to anvil tops,and the clouds reveal their darker nature. They impose themselves before the late-afternoonsun, and the day darkens early. Then a gust of wind ships the dust along the road, chillwarning of what is to come.


In the house a door shuts with a bang, curtains billow into the room. I rush to close thewindows, empty the clothesline, secure the patio furnishings. Thunder begins to grumble inthe distance.


The first drops of rain are huge. They splat into the dust and imprint the windows withindividual signatures. They plink on the vent pipe and plunk on the patio roof. Leaves shudderunder their weight before rebounding, and sidewalk wears a coat of shiny spots.


The rhythm accelerates; plink follows plunk faster and faster until the sound is a roll of drumsand the individual drops become an army marching over fields and rooftops. Now the first boltof lightning stabs the earth. It is heaven's exclamation point. The storm is here!


In spite of myself, I jump at the following crack of thunder. It rattles the windowpane andsends the dog scratching to get under the bed. The next bolt is even closer. It raises the hairon the back of my neck, and I take an involuntary step away from the window.


The rain now becomes a torrent, flung capriciously by rising wind. Together they batter thetrees and level the grasses. Water streams off roofs and out of rain spouts. It pounds againstthe window in such a steady wash that I am sightless. There is only water. How can so muchfall so fast? How could the clouds have supported this vast weight? How can the earth endurebeneath it?


Pacing through the house from window to window, I am moved to openmouthed wonder. Lookhow the lilac bends under the assault, how the day lilies are flattened, how the hillside steps area new made waterfall! Now hailstones thump upon the roof. They bounce white against thegrass and splash into the puddle. I think of the vegetable garden, the fruit trees, the crops inthe fields; but, thankfully, the hailstones are not enough in numbers or size to do real damage.Not this time.


From this storm is already beginning to pass. The tension is released from the atmosphere, thecurtains of rain let in more light. The storm has spend most of its energy, and what is left willbe expended on the countryside to the east.


I am drawn outside while the rain still falls. All around, there is a cool and welcome feeling. Ibreathe deeply and watch the sun's rays streaks through breaking clouds. One ray catches thedrops that form on the edge of the roof, and I am treated to a row of tiny, quivering colors -my private rainbows.


I pick my way through the west grass, my feet sinking into the saturated soil. The creek in thegully runs bank - full of brown water, but the small lakes and puddles are already disappearinginto the earth. Every leaf, brick, single, and blade of grass is fresh-washed and shining.


Like the land, I am renewed, my spirits cleansed. I feel an infinite peace. Fro a time I haveforgotten the worries and irritations I am nurturing before. They have been washed away by theglories of the storm.


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