Friday, April 3, 2009

Freaky Friday Weather for My Fortieth

I'm celebrating a birthday today, and it's one of those milestone years. You know, one of those birthdays where people tend to throw surprise parties or arrange for something like 40 cardboard cows to poop (I mean pop) up on your lawn. I've avoided both today, thankfully. (Most folks know me well enough to figure out that surprises and pooping cows aren't exactly my favorite things.)

Still, the weather has been downright freaky here on this birthday Friday. This morning dawned gray and foggy, and I was grateful that my boss allowed me to work at home today. Then a torrent of rain accompanied by lightning bolts and thunderbursts straight out of Greek mythology. The Dean and I cancelled our lunch plans as sheets of rain slammed against the windows. The doorbell rang mid-conversation, the Fed-Ex guy holding a bunch of bursting tulips from ProFlowers. And then a brilliant blue sky with clouds so puffy and Charminesque that you felt you could just stand on tiptoe and squeeze one.

It was then that I decided to venture out, to put down the laptop and visit the bargain bookstore and the library. The air was fresh, the road empty, and the radio and I sang songs from the 70s with the window down. "Oooooh, baby, baby it's a wiiiiiiiild world, it's hard to get by just upon a smile. Oooooh, baby, baby, it's a wiiiiiiild world and I'll always remember you like a child, girl." I felt like Lauren Ambrose's character Claire Fisher, in the ending montage of Six Feet Under (I'm still in deep mourning for that show) as she careens down the highway in her green hearse.

And then, after a few hours of sun-drenched brilliant-blue sky goodness, a reappearance of the storm clouds, as this photo taken right outside our door at 5:00 p.m. today shows.

Followed by this one, six minutes later.
Dinner was delivered and cleaned up, the kids went downstairs to play and I recounted my day to The Dean along with the latest medical report from my mother about my ailing (but stubborn as all hell) grandfather. (He has yet another infection and my mother tells me she has his pre-arranged funeral song, "How Great Thou Art" in her head ... could that be a sign of sorts that he's finally, finally, finally ready to let go?) I returned again to my laptop and started writing a blog post about today's freaky weather being symbolic for the storms and serenities that comprise this life of ours, that if today's weather was any indication of my next 40 years, it was going to be a wild world indeed. And then The Dean called out, "Wow ... you've got to see this!" and this, this is what we saw in the backyard sky.

We hustled the kids to the window, I grabbed the camera and ran outside. A young neighborhood boy, walking alongside the houses in the grass behind ours, head down, missing this.

"Hey, look," I said to the boy, gesturing as the rainbow's brilliance faded. He stopped, looked up just in time to catch a glimpse and smiled. Oooooh, baby, baby it's a wild world, it's hard to get by just upon a smile ...

I stood for a moment as the rainbow faded, watching in awesome wonder.

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
- How Great Thou Art
How great indeed.


Robin said...

Beautiful! What a lovely birthday present! Have a wonderful rest of your day.

Priya said...

Happy birthday!

Niksmom said...

What a lovely, lovely post. You know, if you believe in portents and such, this year looks like it's gonna be a humdinger for you! ;-) Storm clouds and mythic lightning, flowers and rainbows...enjoy the ride!

Donna Cooper said...

Glad to find you again!
I will be reading through you blog and catching up!
I'm back after a few months of a non-blogging blur.
Hope you'll drop bye!
Thanks for your comments. Amazing thing this computer stuff!

God bless!!

DemMom said...

Happy Birthday! J. turns 40 in a couple of weeks and I have no idea what to do. Cows sounds like an interesting idea though!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like 40 is the age to be this month. :-D Happy belated birthday!!