I want to write about last night’s storms. Not the storms, exactly, but my reaction to them—to the threat of them. But I’m struggling. I’ve tried prose and poem, but nothing’s working.
It’s been hot here for two days. In the nineties, which is unusual for May. We’re months away from putting the air-conditioners in, so we’ve been sweating buckets and using window fans to cool the house down as much as possible. Last night, a front came through that finally cooled things down a bit, and with it came thunder storms.
The weather advisories had been pinging my phone all afternoon. When they finally switched to warnings around ten, I rushed around closing all the windows. I was expecting wind-driven rain, so it made sense to close up the house—except that it was sweltering in here, and the storm wasn’t that close yet, and there was a gust line preceding the front that could have pushed all the stale, hot air right out. But I closed the windows.
I watched the lightening show for an hour, standing at a west-facing window, drenched in sweat. No thunder, no rain, just lightening in the distance. Crazy lightening. Huge bolts and bright flashes. And lots of wind. Cooling wind, out there on the other side of my closed windows.
Why didn’t I open them up and catch the air? It’s what I wanted to do, but I talked myself out of it. What if the storm suddenly hit us? I wouldn’t be prepared. Things might get wet.
I stood there for an hour. An hour! All that cool air could have been blowing right through the house. But I didn’t let it. And it’s not because I was afraid of the storm. I love thunder storms! It was something else—a fear of not being prepared? not doing what I was supposed to do? or expected to do? not being able to act quickly enough when I would need to?
Is that really what I was thinking? I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking. I was sweating. And some ancient conditioning took over from childhood.
There’s a metaphor for my life hidden here somewhere. I can’t quite tease it out yet. Maybe the bref double isn’t the right container for it.