From October 22, 2015
Our high desert has had unusual periods of rain this year. During a lull in Mother Nature’s proceedings recently a brilliant sun going low behind rising cumulonimbus clouds to the west was trying its best to squeeze out a rainbow. There was no color, simply sharp, curved lines radiating across the blue sky, a slivered moon hanging tentatively in their midst. This cloud and its numerous relatives were about to bring us a night to remember, featuring steady lightning through the darkness, followed by a crashing thunderstorm before dawn.
When I got up an hour or so before the sun I turned on the vanity lights with a dimmer switch, set low. Trying not to awaken the dogs, I was getting dressed by that low light. Bam! Lightning hit nearby and off went only those particular lights. Especially eerie it was that the kitchen light never flickered. Being still somewhat in delta-wave state, the serious thought that angels were playing games with me tickled the edges of my mind. A message from a lingering dream? Perhaps, but the part that I can tell is that there was a circuit breaker, aged beyond ripeness, that didn’t like the fluctuations in current during the early storm.
Changing seasons can be hazardous around here. For three days my miniature “city” has experienced thunderstorms with cherry sized hail, a continuous lightning show for one night and early morning, plus drenching rain and steadily decreasing temperatures.
Desert people can get edgy during prolonged wet periods. Rain is loved enough that dyed-in-the-wool New Mexicans seldom dream of donning raincoats and will even rush outside to get soaked in a sudden downpour. But three days of cloudbursts, tornado warnings, so much lightning can make us twitchy. … Who could tell if there was a connection, but up the road apiece a fellow got into a road rage episode with another driver and shot that man’s four-year-old daughter through the head. Nearby another man in his early 30s was about the shoot a cop many times during a traffic stop. A good man, the police officer hung on for over a week before he passed. This much violence within so short a time span — even involving a tiny child — is beyond rare.
I am glad, then, that I was only thinking of angels playing with my mind during one of the storms…