Red - Column for 5/2

It's raining today.

Thunderstorming actually.

The sheer natural power of a thunderstorm is can be terribly beautiful, sometimes. I had kind of forgotten about thunderstorms living on the West Coast. The flashes of light woke me up a couple of times last night. The colorful light play is unfortunately interspersed with periods of torrential downpour. I got to walk to work through one of those. Oh, well.

My memories of summer on the East Coast are liberally sprinkled with sitting on the porch in shorts and a T-shirt watching the bright yellow, purple, blue and pink flashes of light roll across the sky. And then watching the water fall down as though God turned on a huge spigot -- the kind of rain that splashes up on the lawn because it instantly becomes puddles. It cannot run off as fast as it is falling. The thing that makes summer rain storms so different from the rain in California, is that it isn't cold. In the height of the summer the rain is often warm, almost body temperature.

On a warm summer day as it gets warmer and muggier, and then the little white puffy clouds start piling up a traffic jam in one corner of the sky, get gray and menacing, move towards you with bright flashes of light and just open up. However, sometimes it can be so muggy that it just spontaneously rains on you. My relatives in Florida this latter kind of rain 100%ing -- as in the humidity is 100%.

This thunderstorm is a harbinger of summer, which means fresh corn, strawberries and blue crab season are coming. On the other hand summer in DC always reminds residents that the city was built in a southern swamp. Oh, well -- the light show is pretty.

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