Archive for May 12th, 2009

May 12, 2009

Sweet Merciful Rain

Advancing thunderheads off of Melbourne Beach, FL (c) Jessica McKinnon

Usually, when the lightning starts, we run. I dont know why humans are so afraid of a thunderstorm but willingly stand in a miniature waterfall in the bathroom everyday of their lives. Perhaps it is the lightning. We lose more people to lightning strikes than to sharks every year. Not that the lightning is a predator with hunting skills. Although, in a sense, the two are hitting upon elements of their surroundings that they usually do not contact.

Today, when the thunderheads rolled in and the western sky turned entirely black, we started cheering. Florida is experiencing enormous drought and rain shortfalls are extreme. Its not truly fire season any longer, yet we still have errant brush fires continuing to smolder even in the southern reach of my own home county. The bank of clouds rolled in on an eery wave rather like that scene of Los Angeles in Independence Day when the alien ships arrive and hover menacingly over the metropolis.

There’s nothing menacing about these clouds. In fact instead of staying indoors I went right outside to greet them and played with Cocoa, the dog, under some of the drops. Elsewhere in the country people are excited by the warming temperatures. In Florida, we’re pounding on make believe drums and chanting gibberish for makeshift rain dances. It almost makes me wonder if the fish in the lagoon and the bobcats in the oak hammocks are as excited by the change as I am.