I find it difficult to concentrate on my religious path in the month of July because it is so fucking hot…with one exception.
I hate summer, with a passion. Some of my friends find this incredibly amusing since, you know, I worship desert gods. I assume that, due to the glorious Nile river, the places in Egypt that aren’t oven-hot in summer are, in fact, dog’s-mouth-hot instead.
(Yes, I said dog’s-mouth-hot. If you live in Southeastern PA like I do, you’re well aware of this summer phenomenon. If you live further South, well, I am sorry.)
Summer makes me lethargic. It makes me want to sit in a dark room with the A/C on. As our house was built in the late ’20s, we don’t have central air so I have to crank up a window unit air conditioner. This, in turn, makes me cranky because the house is never uniformly cold. In fact, the only thing uniform about my summer experience each year is the size of the PECO bill. Oh, and my wish for thunderstorms.
Massive thunderstorms are one of the summer phenomena that I’ve enjoyed since I was a child. I don’t mind the closeness that comes before them because I know it will soon dissipate. The whiff of ozone that comes with the first flash of lightning is exhilarating and the first rumble of thunder always causes goosebumps. And then, the smell when the rain hits – steam coming up from the ground and being trampled by the pure, fresh scent of water.
As a child, I would go outside with my father when the heat lightning started and we’d stand in the wind while he tried to photograph the strikes. As an adult, I’ve been known to open the door or even go out onto the porch to watch the storm roll through. Hearing them after I’ve gone to bed helps me sleep more deeply – there’s a feeling of connection with something there and I feel content. It’s a religious experience for me.
My attraction to thunderstorms feels like a Thing. It feels important.
Not so coincidentally, the God Who Owns My Ass is embodied in the Storm.