The sky blackened in the south and west; the roll of thunder grew ever more cacophonous from both directions…the very air palpated with shock waves made all but visible, making the hairs on this woman’s arms and head tingle in anticipatory portent. Or was it rather a shiver of the promise of thrilling delight of the immense power and glory that would surely come soon? The two jousted for primacy in me…until…
Aye, aye, aye…it was the latter! The power failed, and even the batteries in the electric clocks frazzled and time stood still. The stillness was soon shattered by great crashes of thunder almost simultaneous with bolts of bright lightning, alternating from the southwest…to the northwest!
O, batten down the hatches, olde woman, lest the rain and hail soak the floors and do irreversible damage, then hie, hie, hie…yourself out of doors to witness, nay, be part of, in tune with, what the Gods are wreaking today.
O, yes, clearly it was Zeus at play in the Northwest, hurling great forks of lightning to the ground, but which of his children, perhaps coming of age, was challenging him from the Southwest? Was it a son or daughter whom he’d never acknowledged, perhaps? Or just a familiar one who’d scaled the heavens to challenge him?
But O, the battle unfolded fiercely as I stood out on the bottom step of the porch, not quite daring enough to cross the great puddle before me…silly old crone, I, fearing to ruin my last pair of shoes. But O, as the torrents came down, they were salted with little stones of ice, and crashed through the green leaves of the maple tree, soaking me to my skin, the lash of it stinging in an almost pleasant way.
‘Take me! Take me, if you require a sacrifice! Hoka hey, it’s a good day to die!’ I chanted loudly and in earnest, my arms outstretched in welcome. Zeus and his challenger answered boldly, by throwing more bolts, and hurling more wetness from the skies, until every ditch was running a veritable torrent of water. Ah, and the lightning hummed through every cell of my body, as it seemed to magnetize the very iron in my blood. Oh, sweet and fearsome delight; how cleansing was the ozone-soaked air to suck into my lungs, so fresh that it seemed to purify and beatify me for that brief time, and to show me just how small a speck I am in the scheme of the multiverse. Mentally I knelt in appreciation of their combined powers, as the booms seemed to crack the very fabric of the sky, much as bolts might find faults in granite mountains, and splinter off whole precipices that would tumble to the earth’s floor below, creating a soundtrack that only a Beethoven could score.
But alas, soon the great puddle before me began to lap at my leather clogs, leaking in to my toes, and returning me to some measure of wit and sensibility. Soaked to the skin, my tresses dripping with the evidence of their Great Contest, I realized that today was not the day, so shivering with wet, I toweled off what I could, and crawled under the bed covers to listen and watch from there.
No, no, no…no blowdryer, no refrigerator, no phone, no internet, none of the amenities of comfort and communication that cause humans to feel so proud and mighty. Briefly I was grateful that I’d be able to fashion dinner on the gas range, and silently counted the various kerosene lamps and candles available for Lighting the Darkness should the restoration of power come after sunset.
Each lull in the magnificent dueling storms soon erupted with new bolts and house-jarring thunder, but they began to edge their way farther north, allowing me to hear the music of the ephemeral brooks outside the bedroom door, and the patter of gentler rain on the skylights.
Eventually I nodded off, perhaps with a small smile on my face that seemed to say, ‘Hoka hey; perhaps it’s a good day to live’, and I sent blessings and prayers to those who hadn’t even a warm bed to crawl into, or food from which to craft their next meal, then wondered what the two sets of twin fawns would have made of it all…surely their mamas would have found them shelter, and provided what comfort she could.