One Sunday afternoon in 2010 I took a wild ride into a storm. I didn’t know it at the time I set out, I just wanted to escape the city. I remember that it had been a difficult week and I needed some distance. I headed out east, first on the freeway and then on the back roads. Storm clouds filled the sky and I found myself driving through pockets of heavy rain. The storm and rain fit my mood.
I had a dear friend who had noticed that I was agitated that day so while driving, I got a phone call from him to see if I was all right. I told him where I was.
“Turn around, Dezra,” he urged. “There’s a tornado warning where you are right now.” I didn’t doubt him at all. I saw the dark sky, the clouds, the potential for funnel clouds. So I turned around. He kept me on the phone for a bit just to make sure I was safe. I remember crossing a bridge at the same time that the wind whipped up and I felt my car shudder. I saw tree limbs skitter across the road. Storms don’t frighten me, but I was white-knuckling the steering wheel.
Rain came and went as I continued back to Indianapolis and I looked at the sky ahead of me to judge how difficult it would be to get home. Far in the distance the sun lit white clouds. If I can only get there before the darkness above me and all around me does something terrible….
Since I was on the back roads, choices as to which road to take back to Indianapolis were many. I travel the back roads by instinct so when I got a gut reaction telling me to turn, I turned.
I was amazed. All that storming? All the wind and rain and terrible weather? Behind me. Ahead of me the road opened up into glorious sun breaking through the dark clouds. The wet pavement shimmered. I was the only one on the road and ahead of me the path was clear and bright. I pulled over, overwhelmed at how beautiful it was.
Somewhere off to the side a rainbow arched high into the sky.
A cathartic moment. I had had a tumultuous week, a storm in my heart. My drive that day mirrored my week. And there, at the end, the clouds broke, the sun streamed ahead of me, and a rainbow appeared. I knew that everything would be ok.
I sit alone in a bar looking out the dirty window at a stormy sky. A golden lamp hangs suspended in the window. But the lamp is an illusion. Like a rainbow, it can’t be touched. Going beyond the window destroys the lamplight and I’m left with mundane darkness.
My camera and I were at odds with each other last night. I blame it on the storm. My friend is a drummer for a belly dance troupe. She invited me to go with her to Mosey Down Main in Lafayette, Indiana so that I could take photos of her group. The weather had something else in mind, though, and my camera rebelled. I captured very few usable photos. Even so, I caught some of the drama of the evening.