I lay in bed last night listening to the thunder.
There’s something about that sound I really like. I like its unpredictability and the often surprising volume of its outbursts, and I still count the seconds between the thunder and lightning to determine how close it is, relishing that moment when the two strike together: “Ooh it’s right above us now!”. Maybe it stirs something in our primordial depths, a reminder of the true power of nature, of how small and insignificant we really are in its presence. Those deep, vibrating, rumbling drum-rolls and sudden shocking, smacking claps excite me. Make me tingle. Thunder seems quite sexy. As it finally fades away into the distance like a marching band, I find myself missing it and hankering for a slight return.
When I was a kid the sound of thunder was attributed to two main things. One, my favourite, was that it was “the clouds banging together”. This seemed particularly credible at night-time, and conjured up a vivid vision of angry, animated black clouds (with frowning expressions) crashing into each other like dodgem cars, little concussion stars circling their battered fluffy faces. The other explanation was that “God is moving his furniture around”. My secular family background didn’t seem to matter – school had provided the vague belief that there was some grand superhero type character living in the sky, and the idea that he had wooden floors and was a bit clumsy when repositioning his three piece suite seemed acceptable enough.
Having about as much understanding of science as the aforementioned three piece suite I can’t get my head around what really causes such a spectacular weather phenomenon. I think I’ll just stick to the notion of the blundering cumulonimbus. They must be feeling pretty battered and bruised this morning.
(no blustering, stormy, metal soundtrack here…
instead just something tenuous from the land of Thor the thunder god)