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Otter Summer 8.06-CloudShow

Clouds began moving mid-day. The wind started snapping westward beneath east-running weather above, and by sunset, boiling galleon thunderheads jibbed north and south, leaving us with clear sky above and calamity on either side. By the end of the day, a waxing gibbous moon promised the coming solstice while the sky filled with a sailor’s delight red.

I took to the front porch to watch the celestial performance. Back east, the horizon hangs close to ground. Clouds seem one or at most two dimensional. Here over the prairie, clouds display great textural depth, four full dimensions, unbounded by any barrier to the edge of imagination along far-distant horizons. The Muse joined me as the lightening began carving bas relief detail into the boiling cloud sculptures.

Soon, the whole extended family joined us, and we sat before that remarkable cloud show speaking of our day almost as if we were not in the presence of magnificence. The Grand Otter had met her birth mother the evening before, and would also meet several of her previously invisible, unknown extended family. The Otter was uncharacteristically speechless, resorting to unembellished awesomes and ubers. We could only understand that something remarkable, probably defining, was happening while lightening illuminated the boiling void above us.

Sara had been dreaming of her birth mom, the greatest mystery of her life, for all of her childhood, as if haunted by a mysterious and unreachable part of herself. These dreams could be reassuring or disturbing, and became emphatic as she entered a swirling puberty, as if she could not possibly become herself without resolving this one overwhelming enigma.

Like the cloud show before us, The Grand Otter seethed with static energy seeking connection. No knothole seemed too small, no outburst too egregious, no emotion half adequate to contain her blinding flashes. She would find ground.

Tesla was probably correct when he supposed that lightening held more than enough power to fuel the world several times over. His challenge, like The Grand Otter’s, hung in domesticating that raw business. He might have succeeded had his own energy not flagged after his patrons abandoned him. Had he managed to reconnect to his community, the resulting energy might have fueled realizing his envisioned objective and we might be plugging into this cloud show rather than simply observing it, awestruck. Still, I figure we’re fine if we can no more than witness The Grand Otter’s great domesticating grounding.

I’m confident there will be tears following, flash flooding downstream, perhaps even some bruising hail. Connection begets consequences, but then so does disconnection. One inherits unintended along with intended consequences; neither should diminish enjoyment of the cloud shows before us.

We sat safely beneath the porch roof as the wind began whipping spray from this final Springtime storm. Nobody stood out in the open field holding an umbrella to watch. The little ones were frightened by the random flashes overwhelming the night sky, and even the older folks took comfort that we were not called to be out in the middle of this one. We’d each been blessed before with the overwhelming need to enter an unpredictable storm. Our presence on that porch testified that we’d somehow survived, perhaps even stronger for our terrifying experiences. I imagined the lightening after discharge, living serenely ever after, amazed at the memory of the time everything came to a head to find unlikely grounding in one unforgettable flash.

Perhaps life is just one unforgettable flash after another.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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