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The calm during the storm

Posted in Life & Love

If I thought I was extravagant in stretching my birthday celebration for a week straight, I met my match. A private client who celebrated in style with two large parties, back to back, that we catered, and that left me truly exhausted.

I spent my Sunday in class, trying to keep my eyes open, and then on the sofa, in that state of tiredness when even sleep can’t be bothered to set in. I mustered the will to make some grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner that we ate on the patio, as the evening light was dimming. Far out on the ocean, a lightning storm of massive proportions was regaling us with a show to rival the best fireworks.

That afternoon, I glanced at the Italian news channel my mother was watching: deadly mudslides in Tuscany, after torrential rains; hurricane Irma, causing havoc up and down both Florida’s coasts; rubble in Mexico, where they are still counting the dead, after the earthquake – and all this just a mere week after the devastation in Texas. The tv announcer didn’t get to any political news until halfway the program. North Korea all but forgotten, as if Mother Nature was intent on reminding us who is boss. Or could it be global warming? If one were inclined to believe messianic end of the world tales, these troubled times could give fodder to such predictions.

I sat mesmerized by the lightning show, and the distant roar of thunder. The clouds above us were slowly lowering themselves, forcing the planes approaching LAX to slightly change their paths. The blinking lights usually visible on the horizon, skirting the Santa Monica Bay, were instead lighting the inside of the clouds on their descent, as if surrounded by gauze, before becoming distinct and disappearing behind the hill that blocks my view of where the airport lays. I knew that the people sitting in those toy-looking planes were emerging from a rocky descent, undoubtedly marveling at the lightnings that were brightening the night sky.

Before going to bed, I went out to check the sky again: no stars, but sudden bursts of light, in rapid succession; zig zagging outlines of white electricity against a black canvas. The only word that came to mind was awesome, in its primary meaning of awe-inspiring. Reverence for what I cannot control.

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13 Comments

  1. Nice selection. The link to the letter didn’t work for me but I googled it. Heartbreaking read.

    September 14, 2017
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  2. I have said it before my dear and I will say it again: you should really write something long form, even submit a short story somewhere. You have a lovely observational eye and voice.

    September 14, 2017
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    • You are too kind. Working on it, like Penelope…

      September 14, 2017
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  3. Mother Nature has a knack for gaining our attention. Wherever you are on the political spectrum, let’s hope there are enough peeps out there listening to her.

    September 13, 2017
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  4. Ellie
    Ellie

    It is impossible for Man not to respond to the beauty of Nature, and be inspired and in turn create Art – if only we could just remember to return the favor………

    September 13, 2017
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    • Ellie
      Ellie

      I was referring to Global Warming, of course – and to what we could at least do to reduce the effects of torrential rains and rivers bursting their banks.

      September 13, 2017
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      • Some say it’s too late but here is to hoping the human race sees the light…

        September 14, 2017
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  5. Mm.. Meteorological phenomena like that are amazing. And, likewise, the way that natural disasters just strip everything away (in the metaphorical sense) and bring people back down to earth

    September 13, 2017
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    • Very humbling indeed – and I speak from experience: mudslides and fires in my case. Still waiting for the big one.

      September 14, 2017
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      • I used to be quite surprised at hearing about bush fires etc in California. Never really associated those things with what is otherwise portrayed as a paradise state. Now, though, it’s kind of expected

        September 14, 2017
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  6. winstonmoreton
    winstonmoreton

    Words are better than photographs sometimes

    September 12, 2017
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    • And I am such a lousy photographer, I could never catch ligthning with my camera.

      September 14, 2017
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