Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two (aghrivaine) wrote,
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two

Summer Storms

I grew up within easy biking distance of Valley Forge National Park. To me, summer and long lazy days at the park are nearly synonymous. The smell of honeysuckle on a warm breeze, flying a kite from the top of a redoubt, exploring the musty soldier's cabins, climbing on rocks in the streambed - that was summer.

Particularly, I loved the thunderstorms that would roll in with magnificent grandeur, a slowly gathering bank of black clouds on the horizon. Rain would fall, first in a tentative pattern, like taiko drummers warming up, and soon in thick, steady curtains. Great peals of thunder would sound, massive claps of a titan's hands that rattled windows and shook the earth.

I loved driving out to a particular promontory in Valley Forge on summer nights in the middle of a really good thunderstorm, and parking on the highest lot, the top of a series of rolling hills we called "Triple Hill" - not far from the greatest winter sledding spot on earth, in fact. Sometimes the lightning would strike down in the valley, and if I was lucky, I would see it touch down, dance, and disappear in a blink of an eye, the actinic glare lingering long after the bolt was gone. Thunder would smash down in such a fury that I couldn't help but laugh - the same kind of laugh I'd get at a scary movie when something jumps out at you, and you fly out of your seat. Sometimes if the show wasn't so dramatic, and the storms was more distant, I'd just sit and listen to the patter of rain on the roof of the car, and the distant sound of thunder, somewhere over the horizon.

So I'm sitting here, in sunny, sweltering Los Angeles. There's no weather here. Yesterday when I walked out at lunch time, the closest thing we had to weather was a breeze - but it was so hot that it felt like a gigantic hair-dryer, blasting the valley. And I'm listening to some song or another that has a great sample of a thunderstorm smack in the middle of it. There's a good minute-long slice of nothing but the sound of rain, and a few really well-rendered thunderclaps.

Homesick. I miss summer thunderstorms, and I miss them deep down.

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