Story of the Storm

Yesterday I woke up to the sound of thunder rumbling overhead. I jumped out of my bed and rushed to the window, childishly expecting to see rain pouring down and flashes of lightning, while my rational side was telling me it was probably just a truck going over a pot hole… again. I opened my curtains and looked at the sky expectantly. It stared back, a placid grey. It was 6:30am after all. My heart sank. It had been ages since I had experienced a thunderstorm in my hometown. Desert storms were always exciting – a myriad of sheet and fork lightning, plump raindrops, and thunder the sound of a deep bass. Everything is charged yet placid, fresh yet heavy. I imagined staring outside with a mug of hot chocolate and way too much whipped cream as a river formed in the street.

That’s when I heard it again – another low rumble of thunder. Then a raindrop, and another, and another. Until the heavens opened up and lightning streaked through the sky. I ran to the kitchen and sat with my sister in front of the door, the screen wide open, while we listened to the sound of the storm and breathed in the fresh summer rain.

Minutes turned into hours and the sky remained dark. It felt like what I imagined a solar eclipse would be. Gradually, the thunder morphed from a rumbling bass to angry clashes, escalating in volume and duration until lightning and thunder became one. We shielded ourselves with the screen door while staring wondrously at the sky. An odd move on our part now that I think about it. Sometimes the vast power of nature makes people do curious things. It makes you feel small and insignificant, yet never have you felt more alive and a part of something beautiful, so much so that every fibre is overcome by curiosity and logic seems foolish.

By the time the eye of the storm had passed over us, we felt slightly shaken yet quite adventurous. I never knew thunder could roar so loudly. We gathered some ingredients at the market despite the slightly subdued rain and set out to reinvent childhood comfort food. After all, it wouldn’t have been a true summer storm without a hint of nostalgia. She made mac and cheese, while I made chicken jalfrezi. We’re an interesting family.

The rain pitter pattered against the roof while we cozied up under blankets and tucked into our meals; the television screen flickering in the dim light as our movie of choice rolled on. By the time dusk turned to night and the film had finished, we sleepily said our good nights. As I sat alone in the darkness of my room, I listened for signs of rumbling thunder off in the distance, but all was calm. Slowly but surely, I was lulled to sleep by the same storm that had awoken me hours before – the melodic tapping of the rain a peaceful reminder of the calm that follows every storm.

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