STORMLIGHT: THE LAST BIT OF CALM BEFORE THE INEVITABLE STORM
DECEMBER 31, 2013
As I dismounted from my bike to walk around to the back porch, a peculiar feeling came over me. It was almost as if time had somehow miraculously slowed down around me. The light changed, from a dreary and overcast grey to something quite difficult to describe: luminescent and softly bright. The plants and tree leaves glowed in a myriad distinct shades of green. It was as if everything had been dipped in glow-in-the-light pigment. The air around me had taken on a beautiful, golden hue. Not too much light, it felt like sunset in mid-afternoon – yet my surroundings stood out in sharper relief than if it had been high noon in the Caribbean on a cloudless day. It was as if I’d taken a drug enhancing sensory perception – even the smells and physical textures seemed more vibrant, easier to discern.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had just experienced my first (remembered) encounter with stormlight. The sky had been covered with leaden grey storm clouds above the entire town, but near the edge of the horizon, the late afternoon sun shone through under the clouds. That afternoon’s experience presented itself a few more times in my life – most recently earlier this week. But these days the experience is associated more with foreboding than beauty. I cannot help but be reminded of a feeling that the relative calm we are experiencing each day is merely the last bit of calm before the inevitable storm, that gathers more ferocity and size with each day that its arrival is delayed. All of the wonderful colors and textures that stand out in unparalleled contrast do little to prepare the observer for the fact or the intensity of the downpour and maelstrom that is to follow.