Feel the electric, ions charged,
swooping down, bending trees,
whole,
it roars in my ears.

I stand, feet planted,
and wait for the tiger,
to lick my face,
in the dark.

Hands touch, silent static,
burning, unspoken heat,
shadowed dark in the light,
that flashes.

Feel the electric ozone passion,
chest hairs on end, breathing deep,
I can feel the shingles,
between my toes.

‘Electric’ – ml’98

Ceraunophile: A person who loves thunder and lightning. That’s me; is there any surprise I spent 15 years in the weather service?

Growing up on the Island we had plenty of storms, usually from November to April, great blustery southeasters that poured buckets and blew away anything that wasn’t secured (and our trusty CBC antenna).

Thunderstorms were more rare, the Summer usually warm to hot and dry in the rainshadow of the Island Range. In the evening you could see the thunderheads forming over the Coast Mountains on the east side of the Straits with the odd flicker of lightning and faint rumble in the distance. But that was about it.

One Summer my military adventure took me to the big town of Wainwright, Alberta. Prairie thunderstorms are something to be experienced! Bright, sunny skies would grow dark as night with an eerie stillness in the air, then all hell would break loose – high winds, hail, pelting rain, and an electricity in the air that raised the hairs up and down my arm as I sat working at my desk. It was rapturous!

Later in Dease Lake with the weather service, at our tiny station about 4000 feet above sealevel I experienced my first mountain thunderstorm! An amazing thunderhead crossed the valley, almost 10 miles across from east to west about 1500 feet above my head. Then the sky turned a fluourescent sea green. I stood on the boardwalk watching the storm approach, feeling the wind and electricity rising while my boss yelled at me to get inside! I stood still and enjoyed the majestic power of nature soar over me. The wind and rain I could handle but when the loony sized hailstones started to fall I beat a fast retreat for the office.

There is just something about thunderstorms. To this day I feel a certain excitement when I see a line of storms forming on the satellite, calculating in my mind how long until they hit. I live in an area now that is prone to thunderstorms so there are plenty of opportunities! Sadly the most recent thunderstorm occurred in the middle of the night. My neighbour said it was a doozy, building shaking thunder, constant lightning and heavy rain.

And I slept through it. Darn!

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