Light Show

I’ve blogged about torrential summer rain that spills over the sills and down the living room wall. Raging wind that threatens to peel off the roof. Thunder that drives Maisie to pen her last will and testament.

But I’ve never seen a lightning show like the one tonight.

Again, storms skirt the farm. At 10 pm, I gaze up through the pergola lattice at clear sky, stars and passing planes.

But behind the silo and barn, the most magnificent lightning show takes the stage. It’s so flashy and unremitting, it’s beyond words.

Martin and I try to count the seconds between flashes — bursting one over the next — but we can’t get past “One Mississippi, two–” before it starts again.

It’s the light from dozens of paparazzi cameras, chasing the celebrity sneaking away from a club.

It’s a kid yanking the pull chain on the attic’s bare bulb. On-off, on-off, on-off.

It’s the big finish on the 4th of July, but someone’s holding up a blanket, obscuring the view.

Lightning straddles the thunderheads, momentarily illuminating a mushroom storm cloud, the cupolas over the Mouse House, and the fake owl meant to scare the pigeons from the barn roof. And then every 20th or 30th flash, lightning appears below the cloud line — trickling veiny tendrils to the horizon.

There’s almost no thunder and the air is dry and cool, not moisture-laden. But an hour later, the sky emits a guttural growl. I close my laptop and retreat indoors.

It’s headed our way.