I was taking my Happy Hour jog on the beach last evening and it was opulent. Perfect, white clouds stood in neat, straight lines like school girls on field trips. Mollusks and asteria punched their way out of the sand to bask in a late-day sun: starfish, olives, whelks, pastel coquinas… Gangly seabirds pecked at hyacinth tide-pools. I was moseying along, saying a rosary in my head and all was exactly right with the world.
I was an integral part of the universe.
About two miles down the beach, and away from the safety of my car, I turned around and had one of those “Oh-oh,” moments one has when they have forgotten to pack rain gear or a lightning rod in their rucksack… As you can see from the photo above, the finger of God was pointing at the beach with a distinct foreshadowing of events to come.
The purple clouds rumbled, the temperature dropped about 15 degrees and I started to run. Mind you, we used to swim during electrical storms in The Bahamas, but I was always drunk in The Bahamas and somehow braver, more heedless when I was drunk… Maybe I think I have more to protect these days, but I was terrified and rightly so being the tallest conduit for miles…
I did that thing you learned to do somewhere: count the seconds after the lightning and before the thunder boom and it was happening at the same time… When I arrived, breathless at the walkway, it was starting to pour in earnest, and I came upon a family gathering their things, a toddler crying because he didn’t want to leave the beach.
What?? I wanted to tell them it was irresponsible to stay on the beach in a THUNDER STORM. I wanted to tell them to BE CAREFUL. STAY INSIDE. Obviously this young family had not suffered hardships or the stinging slap of God’s punishing hand.
But instead, I just hightailed it to my car – let them figure it out themselves…
Today I’m not drinking because if a storm comes, I want to be ready to run.
How come you’re not drinking?