On this ordinary afternoon, despite a pleasant breeze and a hazy sun above, thunder gradually made its presence known from beyond the horizon of my consciousness. I realized it had been there all the while, steadily building within the billowing clouds, whose illuminated tops I could just barely discern if I looked hard; Ever-present but as distant as heaven through the thickness of the heavy atmosphere. Insistent, it rolled closer. But still, the birds domestically visited their feeder, the shrubbery soaked up the sun and the yard grew and grew with abandon; Seemingly oblivious to the ho-hum languor that had gradually settled into a kind of self-indulgence all around. And only partially oblivious to the lofty grandure that was billowing on an entirely different scale overhead, this late July afternoon.
Once more; boom, this time closer, and with a deep distinction, as it reached out to my consciousness; as the summer sun was suddenly swallowed by the up-swelling cloud-tops. A hot gust blew by me and made its way quickly up the green bank of bushes into the trees, causing the up-turned leaves to quiver and blanch. Now, a closer crack… of clarity shifted everything into sudden focus. The resulting bustle of awakened self-consciousness around and within seemed to come too late to avoid the vastness of the energy that was about to descend; about to drench me and the landscape. And so it did… Inescapably.
Foreseen vaguely in dream-memory, in grand and forgotten shadows of summers and slumbers past. Larger by far than life itself. Greater than anything that graces our common concerns. The voice of thunder and its attending consequences speaks of higher and deeper worlds than we can possibly fathom. So it was on this afternoon.
It is not easy to step back from Summer’s gentle, persuasive, wit-dulling enticements, and lift ourselves, by our Selves, out of the lethargy of July. Moments of meditation are apt to drift into dreaming. Without the crack of thunder and the discipline of lightning that we ourselves can wield in self-directed Will, we are flooded by the deluge of the senses and the instinct that keeps us perpetually in reaction to the external.
In summer, it is easy to slip into the notion that everything important is at the tips of our fingers, which, of course, it is. But… It is simultaneously in the depths of our souls, and
we may ordinarily forget.
Therefore, there is the blessing of thunder, which starts as if deep within, as an inner rumble; inaudible but for an awakening in my breast. It shakes me to the core… And from the core. It speaks through me… And around me, with both my own inner voice and the voice of Nature. In these moments, they are One and The Same. It may bring us both to tears. It brings me to my sensibilities. It is the very definition of awesome!.
And then, on this ordinary afternoon, above my head, above the trees, and set into the darkness of the still-raining clouds, appeared the largest rainbow I have ever seen, a full half-circle illuminating even the murky zenith, as the sinking sun slipped into the sudden stretch of crimson sky at the horizon. As if to say:
“Rejoice! But be chastened.”
“Go forth into this newly wetted world! But be well aware that greatness hovers at hand.”