I have always loved watching lightning storms, and I have so many fond memories of finding a quiet perch to look out over my sleepy little town admiring the lightning in the distance. Usually in the afternoon of an extremely hot summer day. A quick walk to a lookout that you could sit and look out around the valley and realize just how small you are as the lightning crashes in the distance, and then slowly counting until the sound of thunder would follow to figure out how many miles you are from the lightning.
I was raised in a small mountain town and when I moved to the tropics a few years ago, I realized I had no idea what kind of lightning storms I was getting into. I would sit out on my balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and watch the storms arrive, and then because my apartment was on a high level, I would be engulfed in the storm. Watching lightning over the mountains was a bit more peaceful than watching it hit the lightning rod on top of the building next door. I would spend hours trying to get the perfect photo, but I always seemed to miss.
This was taken late at night, the lightning would light up the entire sky. It would start like this and within 30 minutes the buildings in the photo would disappear into the clouds. Even though it was not as peaceful, I still loved watching the storms.
However, after moving around to the other side of the world, still in the tropics, farther from the ocean, the lightning storms are on an entirely different level. The buildings shake, the thunder comes before the lightning has disappeared, and my heart jumps a little. I found myself looking out my windows looking for some sort of explosion.
Are the storms really more intense, or if it is because I can’t watch them? I am not sure, but I will be looking for a new, safe perch to quietly watch from a distance.