Last Monday, we finally got a break in the dry, hot weather. After I brought Cal home from school and dropped him at the house, I grabbed my camera and headed right back out to the car to make the quick drive to the end of the block to our river. Storms were moving it (it had rained on and off on the drive home), and I thought it would be a great time to get my weekly shot.
Our vantage at the river faces west, and I hoped to see the storms moving in. The sky was terrific. Shades of deep slate gray reflected on the glassy sea green river below. Puffy white wisps of clouds drifted on the far horizon, split in the distance by translucent sheets of rain.
All the action was across the water. The clouds moving in the distance. The rain sheeting down. In front of me our water was glassy, save for the occasional leap and splash of an errant fish. The flag hung limply in the humid air.
I'd managed some good shots. Great color and movement in the sky. But before I turned to go, I realized that I could hear a funny noise. Unusual. Trickling water. We hear the slap of a wave here with the ebb and flow of the tide, but not the trickle of a babbling brook. As I looked down, the water was receding from the rocks quickly enough to make a creek-like babble. Hundreds of river critters scurried among them and away from me.
I thought I was done after the surprise of the trickling water, but when I looked back at my river, everything had changed. The water was suddenly completely different now. Mossy in front of me; sea foam further out. A counterpoint to the ever-darkening sky. It was one of the most exceptionally beautiful things I’ve ever seen. My sweater began to blow back behind me as the wind picked up and the temperature dropped.
I stood there, and when I wasn't taking pictures, I just let the wind blow against my face as the storm scuttled across the water toward me. Our glassy river whipped up ripples that flew across the water from the far shore to ours. Within moments I was seeing the birth of whitecaps, and the flag now flapped in a proud perpendicular to its pole.
By the time I left, fat raindrops were starting to fall, and I feared for my camera. Those sheets of rain I’d watched on the other shore now completely obscured the horizon. The storm was nearly upon me. I’d been there, watching and taking pictures, just under half an hour.
I think the whole experience was one of the most wonderful things to ever happen to me.