This morning, I got the warning of severe weather at some point today. However, not a cloud in the sky, so I didn't think anything of it.
A little while ago, I'm heading home after hitting the bank and paying my bills and getting some art supplies. As I'm driving, I notice the wind is picking up. Really picking up. The trees along the highway are nothing but motion.
I see the sky getting darker around me. It's like there are two fronts, and they are moving in, meeting right over my head. This is going to be harsh.
I'm not thrilled about being on the road in such conditions. Hydroplaning and idiots who aren't paying attention to the road are a bad combo. I can tolerate it when I need to. Right now? I'm off work, I have nothing better to do. I head off the highway for a self-service car wash I know about five minutes from my then location.
It doesn't take long for the cloud fronts to unite. I'm driving in shadows. I turn on the headlights. They don't really do anything, it's still too light, but they let others know where I am and in Illinois, driving with your wipers on and headlights off gets you a ticket. I make it to the off ramp when it starts coming down. Well, not exactly coming down. It's coming sideways. I can see the water streaks are nearly horizontal on my front windshield. Debris that clearly is not from the immediate area is rushing past me.
I get to the car wash and head in one of the bays. I turn off the lights, turn off the engine, and watch for a few moments. Then I get out of my car and stand in the bay entrance.
I sort of love, sort of hate rain. Thunder is dangerous, but when it's just rain, I connect with it on some deeper level. I even swim in the rain, refusing to get out until I hear a thunder crack or see a lightning flash. Two years ago at the ChicagoCon, it was Sunday, it was over, and on the way back to my car, it was a sun shower. I love sun showers. And this was the most brilliant I'd ever seen. Downpour everywhere, but bright as day. I went outside and sat on a bench, tilting my head back and letting it wash over me, soaking me to the bone. It lasted about twenty minutes. It was the best I'd felt in a long time.
I sat on the hood of my car, watching the rain in front of me. The rain came towards me in streaks. You could see the bands of heavier stuff. It looked like waves, reaching from the ocean to touch me, but I was just out of reach. Some was strong enough to blow into my face, mixing with the sweat from the hot weather. Sometimes, a wind gust would happen, and the rain would rush past me, like a battalion doing a fast march. Trees bowed at the command of their temporary master. But there was no lightning. No sirens. I faintly heard the squeaking of a spinning metal sign from a convenience store nearby, but the wind muted it until it sounded almost like a faint flute noise. It was strangely beautiful.
It didn't take long. The wind died down, the rain let up, and with a sigh, I got back in my car and drove on home.
I can't describe this feeling. But I want to hold on to it for just a little longer....