Storms rarely roll across the valley in the summer, so when we heard thunder echo off the mountains one afternoon a few weeks back, a tingle rippled through each member of the family.
From where our house sits, we can usually tell how bad a storm's going to be. From the west, clouds approach. If they're bringing rain the bottom of the clouds disappear like cotton being pulled from below. But when we can't see Antelope Island, it means it's big and we'd better make sure things that are prone to being blown away in storms are secured.
We live surrounded by mountains. Thunder, like the sounds from celebratory fireworks, bounce off the Rocky Mountains until the sound disappears into space. In the summer rain's a luxury. When we heard the thunder, we stopped what we were doing and opened up the front door. Was the storm to the south, the north, the west? We weren't sure, but we knew it drew close.
Rain in summer means relief, and not just for the fauna . It means relief from the heat, from the dry dry air, from the sun that beats down on our house, our roads, and our heads when outside. In the sky the sun proves it's power from millions of miles away. It give and takes away life--it rules us and we bend to its will.
And yet, it can be tamed, if only momentarily, by the condensation of evaporated water that solidifies in the chilled air above and wanders by the wind's will until the weight of the liquid proves too heavy and it releases its load.
And sometimes, there's lightning.
And when there's lightning, we wait.