Maybe it's because in the lab I am an anal retentive overachiever. Maybe the quadruple-checking of the placement of labeled sample tubes, before, during and after an experiment, is why I am ready to relax when I get home. No, not relax…when I get home I just want to throw my dirty clothes next to the hamper and run around the yard naked. When I am away from the lab I want to stop thinking, let loose, and for me that usually involves music and most often dancing. It's been a very long time since we've had a good thunderstorm here. Last night I got the best one I've ever experienced.
I was just about ready to leave the lab, it was late: 10pm. The storm that had been gently covering us with soft rain for a couple of hours finally opened up and let go. The lab lost power for about 10 seconds until the generators kicked in and I started getting excited. I had been looking forward to dancing in the rain all evening. And I could hear the rain pelt the windows and knew it was going to be a fun one. I drove home and was amazed at the lightning and thunder. It was incredible and I wondered if my son was actually sleeping or sitting watching the lightning. I wondered if we had lost power...I hate losing power here, and we always do in a thunderstorm. It was especially hot and muggy so I was really hoping we still had power. As I pulled up, the garage door opener worked and I breathed easier. My husband and son were both sound asleep. I snuck into my bedroom and grabbed a sarong and tank top...with neighbors, that would be as close as I could get to naked on this night.
I grabbed my Ipod and pondered the heavy rain. I didn’t want to ruin my Ipod, or get electrocuted, but I needed music. I needed a driving beat…I needed the rhythm, at least for awhile. So I decided to go to my garage. Our house is raised, as are so many on the gulf coast, and we are 9 feet up. The garage is beneath us. So I went down to the garage and kept all the lights off and it was so hot and muggy. I opened one of the doors that go from the garage to the yard and I was immediately met by the kiss of cool wind and rain. I decided to dance right there, in the garage, where I could listen to my Ipod and then after I was nice and exhausted I could remove the Ipod and dance in the rain. So I pressed play and watched the storm as I began to dance.
I danced for almost an hour like that. The music loud and driving in my ears…the rhythm was moving me and I was loving it. The best thing about my dance playlist is that I make sure that right after a really driving song, one that really wears me out, I put a song that I cannot sit still to…so it keeps me moving. I lost the clip in my hair at one point, it went flying while “Stop” by Matchbox 20 was blasting in my ears (God, I love that song)…so my hair comes down and is flying in my face and I am a whirling dervish in my garage as the lightning flashed and the thunder shook my house. I am glad no one was watching.
By now my heart is pounding and I am dripping with sweat. It’s really hot and the only time I get a cool breeze is when I make it near the open door. I am dying to get in the rain. I stand in the doorway for a minute to catch my breath and watch the storm. It was magnificent. Every time the lightning flashed, it suspended the raindrops in mid air. For a brief moment I could see individual drops hanging there, sparkling. It was so beautiful. I drank some water and decided I could dance to at least one song in the rain, with my Ipod…I won’t ruin it in one song, surely. So I pressed play, tucked it inside my tank top and stepped into the storm.
The rain was strangely soft. It wasn’t hard and driving. The drops were huge and there were billions, but they were soft. It felt amazing; like kisses. I was drenched in seconds, my sarong, tank top and hair clinging to me. “It had better be tonight” began to play in my ears and once again I lost myself in the music, in the the rain, and I moved out into my yard and just danced. I forgot about my neighbors, I didn’t notice cars that might drive by, I just danced. I was in heaven. I often close my eyes when dancing, but last night I kept them open. I watched the lightning mesmerize the rain drops and the effect while I was moving was incredible. And the thunder…the thunder…the earth-shaking thunder added an element to my dance that I can’t even begin to describe. So powerful. Just incredible.
The song ended and I was exhausted again and I knew I was pushing it with the Ipod. So I walked back to the garage, drank some water, dried my Ipod off a bit, and walked slowly back outside. I watched the storm some more and continued to dance, more slowly this time as I sang to myself...a sweet song called “The Storm”.
I sang. I danced. The lightning played with the raindrops while the thunder echoed through my core. Bliss, pure and simple.