A Scent of Hell
Tonight the thunderstorms came one day early. There is a "red flag alert" for tomorrow, which always sounds like "double secret probation" to me. They were wrong about the timing. I was working at my desk around 7 p.m. when the scent of smoke rolled in, probably from a distant fire sparked by lightning. The sun began to set, and the sky blushed a deep orange/pink. Bugs began to fill the air in some sort of freaky, desperate air dance, and I could suddenly hardly breathe, even from the place I found to sit on the porch outside. A curtain of darkness soon came in with a bizarre, hot wind, and cracks of thunder began to shake the house after blinding bolts of lightning began. I sat down in a chair on the back porch and saw a thick, jagged, blinding bolt spike horizontally across the sky in front of the mountains and veer towards the earth. Brian joined me on the back porch, and I explained what I saw. Shortly thereafter, he said, "I see flames." We stood and walked to the far end of the porch to witness orange and yellow fire shooting up around a ponderosa pine above a dark, scrubby line of junipers and sage. We called 911. I felt a little sick to my stomach, as I knew if it didn't rain, we could be in real trouble. Everything was as dry as death. In addition, a car had stopped across the street, and a stubby fire engine soon stopped behind it for reasons we never did quite determine. They had apparently also called 911, and there may have been yet another strike there. The air was soon filled with weird, white noise followed by a barrage of giant raindrops. The gutter next to me began vomiting gallons of runoff from our steep roof. The flames across the street quickly died, and the silhouette of the victimized tree went dark. Everything was soon soaked.
Erik is still crying, and there isn't a thing I can do for him. I turned on his Veggie Tales CD and tried to explain sirens and thunder, but the thick wall that is WS remains between us in situations like this. Logic does little to soothe away the type of anxiety he is manifesting, and explaining relaxation techniques to a severely delayed 2-year-old seems ridiculously premature, although I still try. I laid by his side in his little bed and talked to him, but he just sobbed.
Uh-oh. More sirens. I had better go check on him.