As I was carrying over a load of boxes and other miscellaneous stuff out of the garage, I saw very clearly the line of the coming storm. The late evening sun shone through the torn places in a slate blue cloud, forming fiery platinum rings at each hole. North and west of that, a dark bank rose up, smooth and ominous.
I fastened a halter onto the horse and turned him into the grazing pasture for a bit. While he crunched fescue and brome, I unloaded the tools, materials and boxes of things I am not yet ready to throw away. We both finished about the same time. I was finished because the truck was unloaded; he was finished because that’s all the time I gave him.
I set planks as temporary guards over the long slot left open just above the concrete blocks I’ve set in to raise the foundation on the little hay shed. In the quick darkness of the coming storm, I could barely see what I was doing by the time I finished. Wind stirred the branches of the sixty-foot tall cottonwood tree and the flare of distant lightning glazed the branches as I got into the truck and headed home.
Twenty minutes away from the storm, there was still plenty of light. I turned on the hose and started watering a wilted rhododendron, sat down on the end of the stone retaining wall. A sudden stir of northern air told me that the storm was there. The temperature dropped from just below ninety into the low seventies.
Even a storm can bring with it some good change and even a pounding rain brings a cleansing. Along with the other.