I grew up in the Bay Area. I can count on one hand the number of times I experienced thunder and lightning.
1. when I was about 5; Dad took Aly and me outside on the porch, beneath the overhang to watch the lightning
2. the night before Picture Day in middle or high school (all I know about my age is that I was old enough to be concerned that by staying up late to watch the lightning I’d risk having dark circles under my eyes for my school picture)
3. once when I was driving to a friend’s house on Stoneridge Drive, listening to a Bob Dylan CD
4. after work in San Jose one afternoon a few years ago; I recall sitting in traffic while it poured equator-style and lightning struck and thunder boomed
The other times I can remember this type of storm are in other locales — Colorado, Costa Rica, Massachusetts, and now Bangkok.
It’s 7:30 at night, the sun went down about an hour ago, and now I’m sitting on my apartment floor, right up against the sliding glass door, and watching bolts of lightning light up the whole sky. I like that really good cracks of thunder can be felt in my chest and that the lightning is so bright sometimes that I think my skeleton shows through my skin like in cartoons!
My favorite times of the year are always days when one can feel in the air the coming of the next season: shorts weather in February, a cool night in August, the first rainy day in the fall. When I first moved to Thailand I thought that I would miss the seasons. And while it’s true that I miss Northern Hemisphere seasons (especially Fall), I’ve learned to appreciate the subtle differences in seasons here. It’s the end of May, and I’m feeling the hints of the rainy season, which is coming next. (After the rainy season we’ll have “winter” from October through January and then the “hot” season from then until late May/June.) Tonight I got a text from Sean that said, “I declare the beginning of the rainy season!” because he got rather soaked on the way home from work. We’ve learned to recognize the signs that rain is coming:
1. dark skies
2. wind that seems to have come out of nowhere
3. the first drop
4. 30 seconds later: DOWNPOUR
Thunder and lightning do not always accompany the rain, but they often do. I feel like a little kid every time it does happen. Sean is also a West Coast person, so he gets pretty excited too. We once failed completely at working out at our gym because the show going on outside was just too spectacular to miss (we even saw bats flying around)!
I’m excited for my second rainy season in Thailand to commence. I’ve got my umbrella and raincoat on standby, and I’ve got my place on the couch for the upcoming shows.