Sky After Storm

The sky after a storm is full of heads, full of people, full of angels--all in disarray, looking back at you one last time, before they roll on off, or fly on off, to return, again, perhaps, with the next electrical storm. There seems an energy in some places there in the sky. With so much electricity back and forth, how could there not be energy?

Sometimes, the storm can't decide whether to stay or go. It's decided to leave, yet lingers,

longingly,

despairingly.

Sometimes, after all the worst is over, it will proceed apace--start to really move off--

hesitates

then returns briefly. Of course, the meteorologist knows that this thing is really a product of various scientifically-explainable phenomena. But for the person on the ground, it is merely a case of the storm deciding to come back one more time.

On Sunday nights, what is it that makes the end of the storm seem less desirable? Why is it that it would be more fun for the storm to last--is it just that Sunday is so dull?

The birds sing more happily after the storm--before, it was just from habit, just ritual, but now they really feel it. There is definitely an extra "gerbill" in their songs.

And the air! A scientist will tell you that this has to do with ions, the way the air feels and smells after the storm. But I know and you know, looking at those people in the sky--that it is because the angels have been in this area. You can see them up there, as they're leaving. You see their heads, you see wisps of a trail in the sky. And you feel the air, how it feels and smells and how it brushes against your face, as if you're suddenly somewhere you've never been before as you take a deep breath of air in that actually familiar place.

Is it just your imagination, or does it seem as if the very leaves are crisper, with more of an edge, more of a lift, more of a lilt, as they move in the breeze?

All those characters in the sunset--those heads: too bad I couldn't have met any of them. That one over there--to the south--looks like someone in a religious painting--maybe out of Dante, or out of an El Greco painting or a Michelangelo religious experience described on canvas--an excerpt from one of them. There is quite an array of such individuals up there, characters from a religious painting, there in the sky: these grey clouds blowing over a pink to purple background, looking all tossed and confused, and taking on human form briefly as they blow on over quickly. As you listen, you hear a crispness in the air, feel a coolness on your ears.

You feel almost as if you want ot go with these fast-traveling, fast-disappearing strangers, these cloud people, as they roll on over that low-lying hill, above the somewhat-greener-now trees, soaring above and past the occasionally now cheerfully-flying bird. You feel you've missed someone--who were all those people? Were these mere spirits? They seem insubstantial enough at times, but at other times, only seconds later, they seem almost solid in the fading sunset.

Did they watch your helpless coping with the storm, laughing heartily under the thunder at you as you gazed occasionally at the sky when the thunder, lightning, and rain were going to subside? And, now that it has, who is that whole city of people you've missed, now sailing away? A whole congregation, a whole gathering, flying away--soaring off--before you even got a change to introduce yourself!

But they've been friends, even so, to have left the air so light, so clean, so fresh and alive on your skin. Your eyes feel refreshed as the breeze seems to kiss--rather than confront--them. A feeling of great tiredness begins to fall, and you see that this is what the fleeing cloud people are saying, as some of them point back toward the sunset as they race away to the East: This is enough; this was a busy day, a hectic mass of confusion, a day in the big city in the clouds--mass confusion, hustle and bustle and noise: we simply must go.

Because now, as you look East, opposite the dazzling orange, the purple-pink snow ice creams, back the other way, are larger, rounder, older, Grandfather and Grandmother clouds, white and light-grey-haired on top, with dark faces which get ever darker as you trace them down to the horizon. Is this ever-increasing darkness not a sign of extreme tiredness, and even sadness that it isn't already over? Was that one wide, white, dome-shaped one not, a little earlier, one with a sharply-outlined hawknose with a long flow of headdress, liked an Indian chief, now revealing his true age, off in the East there--his grey head now beckoning the brighter, younger clouds in the West to come on, to come on home, to follow them, the Grandparent clouds, on home.

As the younger, brighter ones also begin to fade with the sunset, likewise the birds chirp idly, then begin to migrate home, back to where they were this morning, when all this started, this

booming and flashing

this

lightening and darkening

this

blustering and billowing

this

curtaining and downpouring of rain

this flood of steady drips,

this light drizzle, dazzling lightning, shaking thunder,

mist

chillwater

rain and roar--now over.

As you look around as the final darkness falls, you see--don't you--sprouts?

You begin to see why it is so easy for a forest to grow. And, you see why it is that a forest wants to grow.

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