In the Light of Night

“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.”

-Mark Twain

I had just left a babysitting gig when it started to thunder and lightning furiously fast. The parents had told me that it was pouring about ten minutes from their house, and to be safe because I was going to be driving right through it. The first fifteen minutes of my drive was calm; I had my radio turned off and was driving slowly in anticipation of the storm I was about to run into. At this time, I was just enjoying the flash of lights and the sound of thunder around me. I turned onto a different highway, almost halfway home, when it hit me. Rain started to fall onto my windshield so hard that I thought it was going to crack. I turned my wipers on, up to the quickest level possible. In between wipes, I could see bolts of lightning ripping through the sky. Pretty soon, the rain slowed down for a few minutes and I was able to see the sky clearly.

Just then, a bolt of lightning amazingly huge and powerful crackled across the black sky and seemed to strike something on the ground. It was so huge that I could actually watch it glide across the right side of my windshield to the left and I had time in that moment to think, “Wow, this is amazing.” After it struck the ground, the entire sky turned green. (I later learned, with the help of Google, that this is called a ‘power flash’ and it is caused by lightning hitting a power line.) I was both briefly scared and in awe. I have never seen a sky as electrically charged as it was that night. I kid you not, I felt like there was a strobe light hiding behind the clouds because there was a continuous flow of lightning the entire drive home.

Experiences like this make me appreciate the power and beauty of nature. It’s easy to take for granted because it’s around us every day, but take the time to notice the simple beauty around you-a squirrel eating an acorn, a bird singing in a tree, a flower blowing in the wind, leaves changing colors, etc. These are small pleasures in life we can enjoy for free; we just have to slow down enough to do so.

-Aly

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