By the time I step outside, silver sheets glitter from sky to earth, turning the sidewalk into a shallow rushing creek. Drops bouncing upward off the neighbor's roof look like steam rising, then falling back down to slide to the thirsty lawn. Tightly closed crepe myrtle buds cling to silver droplets even as the wind thrashes them in every direction.
Two balls of golden fire whip through the slowing drops, finches swooping from the dogwood to the crepe myrtle. To the east, the mountains rise in their customary smoky haze; to the west, the mid-day sun lightens the edges of storm clouds into grey-white sky; overhead the thunder rolls farther and farther away as the heat begins to rise again and birds call back and forth in the newly-cleansed air. The finches swoop out of the crepe myrtle and over the roof, and tree branches still as wind and rain slow to silence, attempting feebly to rise again and yet again until only the glimmer of grass and leaves bears witness to their passing.
A choir of praise swells from someone's stereo to fill the neighborhood.