20 August, 2004

Eye of the storm

I went out to Walden Pond on Friday and got caught in the hurricane on the way out. Apparently, swimming during a thunderstorm is a tremendously bad idea due to the risk of lightning strike. I suppose I knew this in a sort of vague way in the back of my head, and in hindsight it really doesn't seem like a good idea to be the high point in a conducting body. Note for the future.

The storm was disappointing in its brevity, but breathtaking in its intensity. It really started coming down good when we were halfway back around the pond. And it was COLD. With about an eighth of a leg left I had to swim again (the pond intercepted the trail). The water was choppy, whipped up by a fierce wind and pounding against the beach, but pleasantly warm, especially compared to the rain. I was wholly oblivious to the fact that I was tempting fate, which made it rather enjoyable.

I looked back over my shoulder as I was climbing out of the water. Though the rain was still coming down in sheets, there was a single break in the clouds, of just the size to reveal the sun. It must have been about six-thirty then, nearing the close of the day. The disc of the sun was a livid orange, and stared through the gap in the clouds, like the eye of an angry god watching over his destructive work. Staring at me; that gaze pierced my soul.

That was a moment worth living for; I wish I could have filled my lungs with it and breathed it into my blood, held onto it somehow, wrapped it into the core of my being. Something better than this chip of imperfect memory, this fragmentary image, that can only fade and die.

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