When insomnia gets the better of me, there’s nothing better to do when lying awake in the dark than to listen to the thunderstorm. The winds, light and steady through the Cottonwood, or wild-open wild and sweeping over us as herd of weather, sounds, strangely or not-so-strangely, like home. The thunder comes, sometimes outrageously close and loud, sometimes dotting off into the distance like a very slow-moving train. The lightning? Anyone who lives in Kansas knows we have the very best in lightning displays, including round swirls of electric purple, a panorama of strikes across the night horizon, horizontal races that split the sky, and lots of rushing jolts straight, curved, broken, landed and airborne.
Then there’s the rain, the full pouring of it all while, at the same time, larger drops land around the perimeter of the house, coming down off the roof. The rain turns the tension of the air inside out, fills out ears with such a full outpouring of life both gentle and pervasive, and ebbs and flows in time or not with the frequency of all the light and noise.
As soon as I finish this sentence, I’m going to lie myself down in our bedroom, all six windows reminding me along with all I’m hearing about what it means to be so alive (even if so awake at the wrong time) in the open space of a middle-of-the-night thunderstorm.