Southern summer evenings
I stood outside my door, leaning on the metal railing, overlooking the parking lot. The neighboring buildings stood like overweight proximal moviegoers, but I am always able to squeeze a look past them into the approaching sky.
Summer evenings in the south are often breathtaking. Any place that packs extra water into the air and lets the thermostat drift hot is like a charged capacitor for weather. I usually see the flicker of lightning through my blinds at the start of things. Soon there’s the rumbling—my queue to get off anything electronic; and have a look.
Every storm has its own clouds, sort of like a fingerprint. The present or absent haze can accent the towering pillars of precipitation. Sometimes the formations are so large I can hardly stretch my neck to see it all before the buildings press in. Thousands of feet of cloud swirls, columns and shooting bands of sun light approaching and bearing down on us like some mammoth aircraft, breaking apart and plummeting.
Then there’s the rain smell—before, during and after. Fresh water, evaporating off of pavement, reminds me of younger summers when we had naught but swimming pools and pleas for “five more minutes” before begrudgingly attending supper.
The first shimmers of rain start in and fill in the dry spots. Our cars sit like faithful pets out in the elements, facing our doors, wondering if they can come in, maybe? Sorry Hundai, you’ll just have to bare it out.
The torrents ease in and arrive in under two or three minutes. I’m joined outside by a neighbor, taking a smoke. We have a few quick words about the storm and are both glad the roof holds. Others in the world not being so fortunate.
By now the fading evening sun has been pushed to the lowest band along the distant horizon. Our hovering clouds providing their own light in flecks and flickers. The storm clears its throat and announces itself every so often. The excitement seems a bit farther south.
Still, this one’s worth watching for a while too. Seems only polite after all those elemental forces went to the trouble to get here that the storm has at least one in the audience.