A reflection on the storm of August 20, 2009
by Bryan Espiritu
The sky lowered by floors and floors, nearly touching the lake water and shortening the fall for each sheet of rain that flew sideways and downward towards the surface of the water and the street. The sound of windows quickly sliding, slamming and clicking shut made drums in the intermissions of rumbling skies, so dark you couldn’t estimate the time of day, or night. Flat portions of sidewalk squares turned to rivers and even entirely wet with rain, pedestrians jumped to dodge the flushing waters that hurdled over everything in the streets. Windows shut became our shields. The screens became our screens; the lightening, our projectors. Slowly, the cinema unfolded and the scenes rapidly replayed across the glass. The clouds so heavy with anger their colour darkened beyond the exhausts of their foes. Exhausted with fear, we clutched to our phones, relying on our sense of attachment to one another to feel safe. The black turned orange. The orange turned yellow. And we waited for it to turn white. To turn light. So we could stop thinking about God and the frights that filled us like Arks of times once past. In 2 days the projected forecast would be clear and sunny. No chance of rain. And we would forget how we clutched to our imaginary friends in vain like our interwound web was no more than a trap. The thunder applauded our bravery. Clap. And each thought we had to reflect on our unsavory actions would wash away as quickly as the passing storm.
It was entirely natural, but certainly not the norm. So far from it in fact that the elderly dawned faces that they had never expressed in decades past – faces of disbelief, dread, and lastly, calm.
The glow of the aftermath did not equate that we had come to a solution, nor found a heaven. Yet we basked in the yellowish glare as if to work on our tans. To better our looks, but not our views. We were thankful that we had not shipped, sunk, like animals paddling through waters in twos. And the orange sky burned through our panes as if to tell us that the tone of our lives was not our choice. Please give us a rainbow. Like with a child’s voice asking for something colourful to deter this dark. The scrapes that had covered with blood, our knees, as Mother Nature stared on in disbelief. Honest relief with no ark, no ark. Fear covered in the shelter of a heart.
We’d need another ‘fore the foolish became the smart.
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