Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Quiet after the Crash

There are storms rolling through Shreveport today. Lightning storms. And if there's one thing about lightning, it's thunder. It really takes me back...

A couple years ago thunder struck a 90-foot pine tree near my house during a storm like today's. It boiled a strip of bark right off the trunk, top to bottom. Sap bled out of it for a few weeks, then the whole tree turned brown and started to disintegrate.

I was in the kitchen when the lightning struck. I could see the tree from there, just outside the window. The crack of thunder was so loud I jumped and nearly soiled myself. (I was handling foods that leave stains. What did you think I meant?) After the ka-bang I wondered if I had gone deaf. I didn't hear anything. The rain had not yet begun, so there were no eave droplets to hear. To test my hearing I would have to make my own noise.

I said a few words aloud. Nope, not deaf. The silence was nothing more than the contrast between the loudest thing I'd ever heard and the end of the loudest thing I'd ever heard.