I’d never seen a storm before.
As I stood on the porch, which screamed with every press of bare feet against splintered wood, I gazed out onto the grumbling clouds. They rolled like great trains across the sky, with faint murmurs of thunder and a flash of lightning here and there. Mama wasn’t home, so I was allowed to be on the porch. Which meant I could see the storm.
It came closer, and light raindrops began to kiss the dampening grass. I felt Mother Nature’s laughter as she came closer, yet the clouds betrayed her true anger. The sun vanished behind a mass of charcoal-gray, and part of me wondered if it would ever return. For the most part, I didn’t mind. Not when the storm was so beautiful to behold.
The storm made me brave, in a way I hadn’t been brave since I was little. Raindrops grew heavier and heavier as I inched towards the edge of the porch, with my toes hanging off the rotted step. One more, and I would be off the porch. I’d never gone farther than the porch. I don’t know what the grass feels like because Mama always told me the outside world was poisonous. However, as the soft murmur of thunder became a roar, my confidence grew. Nature wasn’t poisonous, not when it created such beautiful and terrifying things. Time slowed as I inhaled deeply, lifted my right foot, and stepped off the porch.
The grass was different than I imagined. It felt like coarse wool, yet there was a gentleness to it that I didn’t suspect. A choked laugh escaped me as it began to pour, the rain softening the dirt until mud splashed up my legs. That laugh turned into a scream of delight as I danced across the muddy lawn, stomping in puddles and dancing in the storm. Lightning struck a tree nearly two miles away, and I laughed as its trunk blackened and split in less than a second. As thunder continued to roar and the wind began to howl, I let the storm carry me away from my home and out towards the open desert. I never heard Mama’s truck pull up to the driveway, nor her scream when she found me running as hard as I could away from the house and the porch and the false security she offered. The storm let me fly, and I wouldn’t stop soaring.
We had a free write period in the meeting I join twice a week, and all I could think about was the rain during a thunderstorm. The quiet that settles over the world. Just like when snow falls, time stops when rain pours. Where I live, it is sometimes deafening. I wouldn’t have it any other way.