A Moment in My Life – Monday, August 17, 2020
The sun cast a crisp candescent softness on the trees and the knoll that felt vaguely familiar. I walked up to the window and took it all in, and the familiarity occurred to me. The momentous time I remember a golden sunlit morning like this one was the morning of 9/11 when I woke to the sun casting a Victorian hue that I had never seen before. I hadn’t turned on the news yet, but my gut told me that something wasn’t right. At the same time, the sun was unique and breathtaking. For a moment, I imagined myself walking along a tree-lined street at the turn of the century when the earth was fresh before it became overcrowded, cluttered, polluted, and when life was simpler.
Today, we have the rare tropical heatwave to thank for this golden sun that’s beautiful yet temperamental. Yesterday morning, I lucked out, snapping a photo of the gorgeous sunrise minutes before it faded behind the grey skies unexpectedly, considering how beautiful the sunrise was. Then, it all made sense as I remembered that I woke to an alert on my phone to expect thunderstorms by 8 a.m. Thunderstorms in August! In the bay area! Why not? We are having a heatwave in August, so why not get the full experience of a tropical thunderstorm to go with it?
I waited for the thunderstorm to materialize, but all I got was the ominous grey clouds like someone waiting for a sneeze. By noon, I gave up waiting and ran my errands. The temperature on my car’s display read 72’, but even without winds, it felt more like 65’, at best, sans the sun. I felt a hint of mugginess once I stepped out of my car. I was getting the full tropical experience, that’s for sure. I went into Safeway and did my shopping.
Just as I exited the store, the show began with a boom of thunder that broke the bank, and large beads of rain darted for the earth. I toyed with staying sheltered until the rain slowed or stopped, but I could be standing there for a long time. I decided to make a dash for it with the other patrons who had the same idea. We sprinted to our cars, pushing our carts ahead of us as lightning blazed above. I should’ve worn my hoodie, but instead of fretting, I found myself laughing at the joy of being in the thunderstorm and experiencing it up close and personal. Wow! That was fun! I was sopping wet with nothing to dry my wet arms and legs, with my clothes stuck to my skin, but I didn’t care. I sat in my car, laughing while the thunder roared above as if it were laughing, too.
With the uniqueness of this weather, it’s no surprise that some drivers may not know what to do when they encounter it. I sat behind a car at the red light on Westborough, where the 280 N and S off and on-ramps were, respectively, when there was a spark on the signal light post, and the signal lights went dark. No cars were coming off the freeway, but neither of the two vehicles in the first spots moved until someone honked. I guess they were either in shock or didn’t know that if the signal light is out, we treat the intersection as a four-way stop. I chuckled and wonder how long we would have sat there had someone not honked. I didn’t think to honk because I was too busy questioning myself if the signal light had just gone dark or had it been dark all along, and I didn’t notice. It happened so fast.
That was it—just a flicker that was long enough for me to experience the joy of a thunderstorm where I found myself laughing in the rain, which never happens since I’m not a fan of rain.