July 23, 2011

Watching Thunder

The orchestra of thunder is tuning up behind the Wet Mountains. Like a tardy stagehand, a fire-fighting helicopter crosses from stage left to right—north to south—carrying a bucket.

Where is the fire? M. and I are at the firehouse, dropping off small appliances and boxes of kitchen ware from the "peculiar cabin" for the next fund-raising yard sale. We watch the copter pass. The telephone is silent. The alarm siren is silent. We drive home.

The lighting is flashing now with the thunder only five seconds after. I unplug the computers and the modem, take a bottle of beer out to the long veranda.

We watch rain move through the little mountain valleys, obliterating  one with mist and showing another ridgeline row of pines in sharp relief. It is moving toward us, north to south.

Then spoke Holt Mountain: DA.  And it's raining on the waste land of the Sand Gulch Fire and the Mason Fire, while the unnamed ridge behind us answers: DATTA.

Mountains are talking as the gray wave passes over us. The veranda's metal roof gives its applause.

It is raining on the ridges, where the hermit thrush sings in the pine trees. Here at the bottom of the unnamed ridge, the rufus and broad-tailed hummingbirds do not cease orbiting the sugar-water feeder. There is not even silence in the mountains.

The storm moves off to the southeast. The fire-fighting helicopter returns, that sound high in the air. It is flying fast to the north, to its base, the bucket trailing behind on its long cable, responding gaily to a hand expert with stick and throttle, the air is calm.

We need to hear the sound of water over a rock this summer.

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