Lightning


My skin tingles and for a moment I feel the lightning before it strikes.
Synapses fire, screaming at my brain and flooding my body with adrenaline.
I flatten myself further into the dirt, too late and to no effect.
The blinding white light explodes onto my retinas while a simultaneous explosion rocks my ear drums.
“Shit that was close,” I hear my mouth say.
I’m lying flat on my face in a copse of small pines on the edge of a high-country meadow. The towering ponderosas to my left are like lightning beacons.
The last summer storm of the year is chasing a cold-front across New Mexico, giving the mountains and those in them one last lashing before the snows fall. The truck – and my rain jacket – are a couple of miles south, two 10,000 foot treeless meadows away.
Another flash crashes close and I ponder briefly the possibility that I have been struck and my brain doesn’t know it yet.
The smell of wet pine needles is overpowering. When the thunder rolls into silence I can hear the hail pinging off of my pack and feel it stinging my skin.
I’m alive.
More so than I have been in weeks.

– GM

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2 thoughts on “Lightning

  1. I know the feeling well, Greg! Down in Fla. my daily commute to work was 42 miles one-way for years. I bought a motorcycle of 500cc’s to cut down the costs and, it worked well on that account. However, Fla.’s Thunderstorm season is something else! They don’t have “rain showers”, “thunderstorms” or “rain”. What they have are “Airborne Waterfalls” with LIGHTNING! On my way home from work I got into one of them; a BAD one. And, like you, all I saw was a blinding white flash with a simultaneous explosion. But, out of the corner of my right eye, I caught a glimpse of the tree exploding down by its base! I just kept “motoring”. And, like you, am very glad to be able to share this with you, my friend. Thanks for the “recall”. …smiles

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