Saturday, April 29, 2006


There are few things more comforting and satisfying than the feeling of being safe in the midst of a storm.

The lighting outside had the insistent tempo of a disco strobelight, filling our bedroom with alternating flashes of blinding white and absolute black, punctuated by rumbling thunder so loud it rattled the bed. We have floor to ceiling windows across the entire back wall, so the storm was clearly visible during the moments when the lightning filled the sky, and with the house shaking around us we felt as if we were standing right beneath the storm.

We'd watched it roll in from the front porch, angry, heavy gray clouds scudding across the sky. The setting sun was shielded by the solid bank of clouds, but still provided a dull backlight for an hour. Eventually we felt small droplets starting to sprinkle our feet and we retreated inside to ride it out.

I briefly regretted not getting a metal roof on the house, because there's something uniquely Texas about the sound of rain on a tin roof that I love. But when the hail started, I figured it was for the best, as solid balls of ice plummeting down at high speed can be rough on tin.

I wondered how the donkeys and horses were getting on as three different bands of thunderstorms lashed central Texas. I thought about a passage from "Watership Down", that humans think they like winter. But it's not the cold they like, Richard Adams says, but the feeling of being safe from the cold. Were they out in it, like rabbits and other wild animals, huddled against the elements and fearing for their life, they would not be so enamored.

Today we walked the property, making sure everything made it through all right, and thankfully it did. Some tornadoes were reported about half an hour away but we just got high winds and 3 inches of badly-needed rain. The creek finally has running water in it, for a few days at least, and the beautiful little waterfall is once again bubbling along. The grass and the trees seem perkier somehow, as if grateful for having their thirst quenched.

A friend of ours commented that in the days before The Weather Channel and 24 hour news and Doppler Radar, they didn't have "Severe Storms", they just had weather. It was a presence to prepare for, but not fear, just part of the cycle.

I like that.


A.E. Baxter said...

Watership Down is my all-time favorite novel. :)

annie'sbuddie said...

well you guys got better weather than we did, but at least we did get some nice gentle rain and apparently enough wind to blow down a few dead branches - i slept through it all.
we too have lots of glass - after living in the garage cave for 5 years we might have gone overboard - but i love watching the storms through the nose & paw prints.
just don't go tharn.

Jeff Hebert said...

Love me some Wateship Down, that's for sure! My sister Diane introduced me to that book, it's a definite classic.

Barbara, I loved that line "I love watching the storms through the nose and paw prints", that's a great image.

Denise said...

Jeff, your writing talent amazes me. I can picture everything you described in the blog. Seriously, brother, you need to think about a book. Everything on this blog is great and it needs to be in a manuscript, published and then you share your wonderful prose. By the way, I know a GREAT publicist...