Thursday, July 10, 2003

Snap, crackle, lights!

My dad had a house in the middle of this long shallow valley that may have been
formed by glacial runoff. His house sat next to a narrow steep valley that had a
moist spongy surface at the bottom that did carry spring melt runoff. Across the
narrow valley from his house was a foundation of an old farm house. Scattered
across the bottom of the valley was a former apple orchard that had gone wild.

Most of the land had been cleared. Across the street he had 35 acres of cleared
pasture land with three lone maples, each dominating a third of the field. The
property on the side of the street with the house and valley was 30 acres in size.
There were groves of trees on this land that he left alone that now have spread
and increased the tree cover on that portion of the property dramatically.

His house had a family room where you could watch television, tend the wood stove
and gaze out across the valley and enjoy the view of groves of trees and open field.
At night, when there would be a thunderstorm, we would shut off all the lights
and wait for the lightning to light up the surrounding area for a split second,
giving the world a white monochromtic view. I loved the thunderstorms and
the way for an immeasurable time the world went from complete darkness
to an eerily colored clarity that was followed immediately by the ripping sound
of the violence of a lightning bolt murdering violating the air.

I can see nothing. I can see everything. The walls shake.

Listened to on the bus: Ziggy Stardust by Bowie

Read on the bus: Here at Eagle Pond by Donald Hall

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