When I left work at 5 PM yesterday, it was a remarkably beautiful day. The sunshine and the clouds were lovely, the temperature was unseasonably pleasant, there was a gentle breeze, and there was something in the air that somehow emphasized the fact that I had the rest of the day completely free to do whatever I felt like doing on such a summer evening. So I opened my window wide, microwaved some pizza, ate it, rearranged a few stacks of books, and then spent several hours alternatively writing science fiction and reading, with an occasional internet chess game thrown in there for good measure.

It got late, and I got tired, but I didn’t feel like calling it a day, so I decided it would be a wonderful night to do a full-length practice GRE test. (For the record, that was a bad idea. My brain doesn’t appreciate being asked to do that kind of thing after 11:00 at night.)As I finished at about 1 AM, I noticed something odd. The sky was flickering pale purple. I thought it was lightning at first, but it was unnaturally constant and predictable, and the thunder was unnaturally nonexistent. Besides, the clouds were still lovely, the temperature was still unseasonably pleasant, there was still a gentle breeze, and there was still something in the air that underlined the fact that it was one in the morning and I didn’t have to go to sleep yet because it’s summer vacation and I’m not a little kid anymore and I can do whatever I want. So I decided that I wanted to stick my head out of the window and watch the sky flicker and flash for a couple hours.

The view from my window at about 8 or 9 this morning

As it turned out, it was lightning, and it was one of the most spectacular lightning shows I’ve ever seen. About once a second, several blazes of light streaked across various parts of the sky simultaneously. Gradually, the thunder realized what was going on and decided to join in, and the wind decided it wanted to share in the fun and began to spread a presage of doom. The air turned ominously red and filled with mist. Then it began to rain. First, it was a light, misty rain, but by the time I eventually went to sleep, it was stronger. When I woke up a few hours later, it was a torrential downpour. The fog was so thick that not only could I no longer see the Birmingham skyline, I couldn’t even see across the street.

Now, it’s late morning and the rain and lightning have stopped, the fog has cleared, and the clouds are dissipating. I can see patches of blue in the sky. It’s going to be a beautiful afternoon.

Advertisements