The Storm

Can you hear that? In the distance. Faintly at first but growing louder. The jungle around me becomes eerily quiet but for the approaching sound in the distance. The parrots, toucans, and monkeys, knowing what’s in store, have taken shelter.

The menacing sound is louder now, a dull roar like an approaching train. The wind, that a moment before had been howling through palm fronds and nearly toppling the tall papaya trees has quieted to nothing…not a movement…as if all the energy has been sucked from the atmosphere to fuel what’s coming.

The sound approaches, a wall of water seen traveling across the jungle getting closer and closer until the sound is deafening. Huge globes of water, far too large to be considered raindrops pound the canopy of the rain forest as they travel en masse across the expanse of foliage. Inches of rain flood the earth in a matter of minutes as the water is forced out of the sky and pushed toward the ground. The earth is saturated and puddles converge to produce a river where there was a road only seconds before.

The noise is all around me now. I think to myself, this must be as hard as it can possibly rain…but impossibly, the the strength of the storm only increases. The lightening flashes and within seconds a low distant rumble sounds. The flashes continue to approach until I can feel them on my skin, the hair of my arms electrified. The thunder, no longer a rumble, crashes around me so loud it shakes the house, rattles the windows. I feel it deep in my chest. This is the center of the storm cell…what started as a cozy afternoon rainstorm has turned into a frightening display of Mother Nature’s fury.

Thoughts of downed bridges, flash floods, and landslides flash through my mind like the blinding lights and crashing thunder. Fear floods my body just as the street below is flooded with the muddy orange clay that was the hillside only minutes ago.

Just as my emotions reach a crescendo of fear and the explosion of panic is only seconds away, there is an ever so subtle shift in my surroundings. The huge globes of water are slowly replaced by normal raindrops. The flashes of light start to distance themselves becoming bolts of lightening I can see rather than feel. The crashes of thunder, while still menacing, are no longer shaking the house but are once again rumbling long and low. The wall of water is shifting through the jungle, heading toward the gulf…a tidal wave migrating toward the open ocean.

What once was an approaching nightmare has become a distant thunderstorm to enjoy. The lightening bolts streaking across the sky are breathtaking. The jungle slowly returns to life as the birds and monkeys come out of hiding and carry on with their routine. I hear the truck tires on the gravel drive and know that my husband is home safe. I breathe deeply, settle on the patio with a glass of wine and enjoy the light show traveling across the sky.

Rainy season is here.

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