Three nights ago I laid down on the ground and watched the lightening light up the clouds above me. I have been wishing for storms lately. Not rain. Storms. The kind of weather that puts everyone on edge. Big crashes of thunder. Electricity lighting up a dark, wet sky. Wind that howls until it matches the wildest pain you have ever felt. Heavy drops of rain that almost sound like hail as they fall on your roof, your grill, the leaves on the trees.
There was no storm that night.
The ground was not even wet that I lay on, though we enjoyed a respectable little downpour not five miles away at dinner. I laid down in the grass and wondered how much time goes between me feeling the ground on some part of my skin. Between shoes, floors and concrete…how much do I really feel of the ground?
Looking up into the gentle show of the sky, I remembered a time sitting on the front porch with my Grandfather in Florida. He loved the weather and was mesmerized at how, from the vantage point of his front porch, he could watch the electrical storms cross the sky in the distance. I felt it too. It was so beautiful and intense.
So, I let my thoughts go to him completely. It’s funny how you can miss someone more as you grow older. There are parts of him I understand more now that I could have possibly understood then. And many more parts that I am sad I missed knowing as an adult. He died when I was in high school. I thought about that too.
I realize I don’t really know what he was like. I am piecing together the impressions of a child and guessing what that means. I could ask, I know. But no one could possibly tell me what I would have noticed about him as an adult. Only I could know that…if I had the luxury of knowing. But tonight I allowed myself the space to guess.
And tonight I am thinking about him again. Sitting in our new house I am thinking I would so love to call him up on the phone and celebrate the storm bearing down on us. If I could find the whiskey in this mess of boxes, I would break it out and raise a glass to a real mess of a storm…and to my grandfather, who taught me to love the drama of big skies and wild weather.