Ceraunophilia; loving thunder and lightning, finding them intensely beautiful.
I’m attracted to lightning. There’s just something about the raw power of a storm that draws me and fascinates me. I’m not sure how or why my love came about but it might have to do with the first storm I saw.
It was a family holiday, I was five and we were at a zoo. We heard the rumble of thunder and I remember asking what that sound was and then what the flashing lights in the sky were. We ran for the shelter of a cafe as the rain hammered down and the storm raged right over head. My baby sister cried, like a lot of the children round us but I pressed my face to the window and watched the pretty lights in awe.
After that, any thunder and lightning storm interested me and I would check the weather forecast to see when one was due. Sometimes, I’ll travel to a location to capture a storm and I watch lots of recordings online.
People might call me a storm chaser, but that’s not really what I do. I just enjoy watching lightning and listening to thunder.
From his window, safe and warm in his house, Peter watched a mixture of hailstone and snow falling. In a few blinks, everything was icy white as if someone had dropped lots of tins of paint. Cars slide across the road and people tried to battle against the snow storm.
A bright flash of light nearly blinded him and Peter looked up, confused. Had that been lightening? He listened, but could hardly hear the rumble of thunder that followed. Two storms at once? he wondered. Searching, he soon saw another lightening strike but this time he didn’t hear the thunder.
He searched his mind and recalled something, he had once heard on the news in another country; thundersnow. It happened in winter, during a snow storm and the lightening was brighter then normal due to reflection off the snow and the thunder was quieter. Was this what he was seeing now? Peter wasn’t sure, but it seemed possible.
The sky was alive. The white lightening shot across grey clouds then disappeared. Thunder rumbled, booming so loudly that everyone was deafened. Rain drops the size of golf balls bounced along the pavement. The traffic stopped and the sound of the storm grew louder. I tried to look out of my windows and I double checked my mirrors, but I couldn’t see the reason everyone had stopped.
Ignoring my messy, tried self in the mirror, I hoped that whatever was causing the jam went away fast. I just wanted to get home, get out of my receptionist clothes and into PJs. Then have some soup and green tea before crawling into bed. Letting down my chocolate colored hair, I shook it out then tied it back up again.
The windscreen wipes battered the rain away, but it was no good and I could hardly see outside. I put the handbrake on and keeping one hand on the wheel, switched my CD music to the radio. I skipped through a few, but then found one that was going through the hourly news.
‘Traffic reports are coming in as many roads have flooded and road accidents have happened. If you don’t need to go out stay in doors as this storm is set to stay awhile. However, it should clear up in the early hours of the morning, but tomorrow is staying wet and windy,’ the clipped female voice said through the speaks.
I sighed and rubbed my head. A car horn blared, though the driver choose the wrong moment as the thunder sounded over him. I looked up, searching for the lightening and then I saw it. The bright forking flash was just above the roof of a pub opposite and the light was spread really far across that part of sky.
The thunder rumbled and I swear I felt it vibrating through my small car. The lightening flashed again, making me jump. My hair stood on end and my eyes couldn’t leave the spot right above the pub roof. The lightening stuck again. The jagged white light seemingly taking over the sky as multiply forks came together.
I blinked the blindness away and looked hard at the rear of the car ahead of me. I could just make out the red glowing lights through all the rain. I stopped my windscreen wipers, noticing they weren’t even working now. Some rap song was playing, but the voice of the singer and the beating music were lost to the sound of thunder.
I turned the radio off and put my hands into my lap. It was going to be a long evening and my plans of PJs, soup and bed were on hold whilst I rode out the storm.
Aaron stood in what had once been a corn field, but now only the broken stalks remained. The sky was a painting of color; greys, blacks, purples, yellows, oranges and pinks. He wondered if God had made the sky his canvas. It was raining in the distance, he could see it coming down on other the fields and it seemed to be making its way over to him.
Leaning against the tumbling outbuilding, he saw a fork of lightening. His breathing quickened and he began snapping photos as if his life depended on it. Which, in a way it kind of did. He turned, moved back and lined up the next angle.
He saw the lightening striking again on the screen and caught the image he had most wanted.