"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

30 July 2011

Summer Storm

Distant thunder draws our attention to incoming rainclouds long before the sky darkens above us. The first drops stir me from a doze over the slow-moving novel I've been trying to read and bring me to the front porch.

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.


dylan said...

As we say on Facebook, "like"! There's a lyrical quality to the prose, and it shows your great powers of observation -- rather, your ability to "translate" what you observe into language! Thank you!

Beth Impson said...

Thank you for your kind words, Tom!

Elie said...

Refreshing! Felt like I was there and the storm happened before me.

Refreshing, also a word that describes your presence. I miss you!Hope you are well.

Beth Impson said...

Why, thank you, sweet Elisa! I miss you, too!

Crystal said...

What a beautiful description. Thank you so much for sharing it - I have a feeling it will stick in my mind for a while. That beautiful peace within a storm.

Beth Impson said...

Thank you, Crystal. It's always an encouragement to know that others find beauty in what one writes.