Monday, September 14, 2009
A Religious Writing Experience
This morning I had one of those writing experiences that could best be described as religious. I woke up to the sound of crashing, rumbling thunder, loud enough that it shook the glass in my bedroom windows. I got out of bed, poured a cup of coffee and laced it with my favorite vanilla creamer. I microwaved a buttery croissant, grabbed my notebook and pen, and headed for the front porch. As I sat munching on the croissant, and sipping coffee, I took in the sensory experience of the morning.
The air smelled as if it had just been just been born. It was fresh, brand new, and a tinge of ozone tickled my nostrils after every strike. Light raindrops pattered on the leaves of a low bush, the minute impacts causing each of them to tremble almost as if they were shivering from the cold.
A fork of lightning shot across the sky, spreading out like gnarled fingers as it reached for the ground. A few seconds later the sky was ripped apart, as if two giant sheets of paper were rent in two. The thunder rolled and echoed across the valley, each echo becoming lower, sounding less like a crack, and more like a muted hollow tone. I sat in awe of the pure power of the display.
I took a bite of the hot croissant, a sip of coffee, and put pen to paper. The pen seemed to move as if it had a mind of its own and soon I had more pages in one sitting than I had written in days before.
You might think this sounds strange, as in most places thunderstorms aren't that unique, but here in northern california they are. If we are lucky we might have one thunderstorm a year. Most years we have none.
To someone who grew up in South Dakota where thunderstorms are the norm, they are one of the things that I miss the most. While I don't want to move back there, the memories that they evoke are almost as fresh as the air after the storm. They remind me of playing in the rain with my brother, the youthful exuberance of getting a little too close to a tornado, and sitting on the porch talking to my father, as the sky put on its fantastic show. It was a morning that I'm not soon going to forget.
You need to write every day, whether or not moments like this occur. When they do, and I'm sure they will, make sure you take advantage and enjoy them to the fullest. I know I did.
Have you ever had such an experience? Where was it? How did the writing that day compare to your normal writing?