Friday, April 6, 2012

Close to the Edge

There was an amazing evening outside my house last night. A bright clear full Moon rising in the east. Open star-filled sky above. Meanwhile, violent almost continuous heat lightning happened all along our western horizon, slowly crawling higher in the sky. Too far away to hear thunder.

According to various weather radars on my iPad, a large patch of multiple strong storms was moving slowly from around Huntsville toward northwest Georgia. The storms shot towering light-grey clouds thousands of feet into the pristine night sky. The clouds looked puffy and textured in the strong light of the Moon.

The vividly luminous nature of the lunar surface made it easy to walk around outside without the aid of any other light. My body cast a long shadow. I was on the edge of it, betwixt flawless dark clarity and churning natural fireworks. Venus and Jupiter were clearly aligned forming a dagger straight into the storm which now overwhelmed the horizon and tall expanse of western sky.

I walked up to the higher ground on our property and stood as our dog Charlie took his evening walk. I stood there with a clear view over our house back to the west, the Moon casting strong light from behind me. The looming clouds silently but spectacularly puffed and shot with the brief glow or streak of silent lightning probably 60 miles or so away. Orion had just passed the zenith a bit to my left. Many other stars were visible even in the bright moonlight. The clouds were slowly rising higher in my view.

It was like two different nights fused together. The storm crept toward me. Meanwhile, the air was calm and still over my land and back eastward. It felt cool with low humidity. Night sounds filled my motionless woods. I did not move for awhile.

The storm finally arrived about 11PM. It lasted maybe 25 minutes. Not a lot of wind or even a lot of rain but several loud claps of thunder from lightning strikes within a few miles of the house. I may have drifted off to sleep before it had fully passed. I slept soundly.

Note: Last night's full Moon means that this Sunday is Easter. I have blogged before about why this is so. The title of this post was inspired by a progressive-rock song of the same name by a group I listened to a lot in college, Yes. I listened to that track off the old album a couple of times today.

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