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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chasing Summer Storms.

This summer is no different than any other.  When I first became pregnant I said I wouldn't let it keep me from doing what I always have and so far I haven't, even when it comes to severe weather.  So when a line of storms approached my town I quickly packed up my camera and my husband, who agreed to go with me this time, and headed out towards the outskirts of town in search of higher ground and better views.  

The clouds were rolling in thick and dark.  A stiff wind kicked up and livestock started flitting towards their barns and cover as we drove by.  Occasionally we could see a lightning strike on a distant ridge line.  I giggled and jumped in the seat while ensuring my camera's settings were accurate.  Shawn, on the other hand, was slightly apprehensive behind the wheel and kept giving me looks as if he didn't like the situation. We were, after all, driving into a severe storm. 

I quickly told Shawn to pull over in a hilltop field next to an old barn.  When we came to a stop along the gravely shoulder I hopped out of the car and was met with a fierce and persistent wind that nearly blew me sideways.  The old, iron hinged door on the side of the barn was swaying back and forth, banging against the side of the barn every few seconds with a loud clash.  I half worried it would come flying off, but assured myself that after generations standing tall through countless storms the barn and its old door was not very likely to go flying off anywhere anytime soon. 

Clouds swirled at the peak of the barn as I glanced up to survey the sky above me in a dark and angry way, but it had not yet begun to rain.  The tall grasses of the field bent over like a congregation in repent to the incoming storm that was fast consuming the ridge-line a few miles away.  Lightning struck in the distance and thunder rolled shortly after.  I stepped further into the field while Shawn waited impatiently in the safety of my car a few yards away. 

The wind enveloped me and smelled so freshly sweet, a hint of the rain a few miles away.  I wanted to stand there and feel like that forever, but as the storm approached Shawn began to holler my name into the oncoming wind.  It reached me at a decibel close to a whisper amongst the howling gusts and rolling thunder, but I still heard it and the nervousness it conveyed.  He beckoned me to return and reminding me that as cool as I thought it was I was pregnant and on a hill amidst an approaching storm.  Before I heeded his plea and ran back to the comforting seat of my car I stood a second longer, snapped one last photo, and breathed in a deep breath of fresh fresh mountain air. 

Shawn smiled at the relief of having his wife and impending child back in the safety of the passenger seat by his side.  I, on the other hand, was smiling, because I had spent the last few minutes atop a hill, watching a thunderstorm, and being pummeled by the smell and breeze of crisp fresh air like nowhere else.  Not only that, but I had done all that with my ever so tiny daughter.  When she is older I can't wait to share these moments I've already had with her! 


SharleneT said...

The pictures are gorgoeous! But, I'm with Shawn, you have to be very careful when electrical storms and coming and the top of a hill is NOT the place. Please take care of yourself and your little one. I've become very fond of you and your world. Love the horses heading home pix. Thanks for sharing. Come visit when you can. said...

This is great Jen! I love your stories of the "hunt" for the perfect picture! It's especially inspiring knowing your pregnant! I wasn't climbing hills that pregnant, I was enjoying my couch! Keep the stories coming and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy! How much longer?

Misty Dawn said...

A wonderfully written post! And, of course, the photos are fantastic too.

Balisha said...

Oh my, I'm torn...the Grandma in me says to be careful...but the weather geek in me says "Go for it"

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