Thar she blows

Foreboding early strike from Chez Lola beach out over the Caribbean. Two hours later, forks of lightening dramatically coursed the entire sky as we boated home during a break in the wind and rain. Photo courtesy of Richard McKenna.

I love inclement weather. I think it stems from being raised in Seattle where it is oh so mild all the time, especially the rain that comes down in a mist or sharp, cold little needles. Or maybe it’s my Aquarian nature reveling in air and water coming together so tempestuously. I have a strong childhood memory of wonder from when I was six or seven visiting Tuscon, Arizona one summer: getting caught in a crashing desert thunderstorm, taking refuge under the covered ping pong table at the Arizona Inn, and watching water, thunder, and lightening take over the world. The size of the raindrops was like nothing I had ever seen before and the sound was deafening.

I’ve loved thunderstorms with a passion ever since. During my first summer in Boston there was a night in late June when the sky just opened up. It was on a day when we had been hanging out earlier in a kiddie pool on the front lawn of Phi Delts, and I was still in my swimsuit. I took to the street with a friend, twirling and laughing at the sky and splashing in puddles like a three-year-old. A posse from the house first called us crazy from the window of 1Front1, then came out and joined in. Because it’s damn FUN.

I still always feel that call when warm thunderstorms hit. I love the charge in the air and the visceral sense of insanity from that energy. It makes me perk up my senses as everything seems heightened. There have been three downpours on this trip that have triggered this feeling for me: my last night in Lanquin that went nuts, my final morning in Caye Caulker, and three nights ago in Utila during the opening of Cocoloco (which ended poorly with two lost pairs of jettisoned shoes and a sprained toe after–let’s call it enthusiastic–dancing on a particularly slippery dock). It’s just one more facet of my love story with water on this trip.

The weather in Utila is weird. Even though the days are hot and clear, virtually every night there is a far off lightening storm in the distance. From any dock you can watch the lights go after dark. Only occasionally does it turn into more than a far off display. Two nights ago, I awoke to one such storm. My room has two screen-window walls and had turned into a whipping wind tunnel. The lightening was coming strong at the same time as sunrise, rain slamming against the metal roofs of my neighborhood, wind tossing my filmy curtains into a frenzy. The moment I became conscious, I bolted upright and was drawn to the window. It was a show of chaos and power I couldn’t resist. Apparently in the middle of the night I howl at both the moon and storm clouds.

Is it better to be crying when you feel insane
Or laughing out loud dancing naked in the rain?
Have you ever felt the thunder inside your heart?
Lettin’ go of everything that’s going to rip you apart…

1 thought on “Thar she blows

  1. That storm in Tucson was a whopper! I don't know what was louder — the thunder . . . or the squeals of delight of three little girls. Love, Dad


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