Hey, Lightning, It’s Been Too Long

_C1_2003The wind had slowed but the air was restless. Huge ribbons of cloud swept across the sky, framing stripes of inky black dotted with tiny but fiercely blue pinpricks.

The wind quickened. Chains clanged against flag poles. From the northwest lightning flashed silently, hidden within the clouds’ translucence. Then from the southwest. Then from the south. Flashes like camera bulbs, one after another with hardly any pause between. Still no thunder.

The wind gusted, blowing the first raindrop right in my eye. More drops fell, tapping the concrete and the grass. The first rumble of thunder.


I love storms. Living in Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and now Arkansas means no shortage of them, but oh, how I’ve missed them. Their energy always has made me giddy.

But I have a lot more skill with people and buildings than with the unpredictable speed of lightning. I have a few hundred frames of nothing but black. The clouds were torn apart, their depths lit by blue bolts. And there were so many bolts, more than I’ve seen in a long time.

And out in this storm was a crew of highway workers. This afternoon a worker fell from the Interstate 540 bridge over Porter Road. He was conscious and alert when the firefighters and ambulances got there, but his injuries were severe, a fire department captain told me. I don’t know his name or how he is now.

More than 100 road workers die each year in their work zones. Give him your good thoughts, if you’re so inclined, and be careful out there.


Thanks for looking.