Mornings after a storm are good for walking, good because the grass, which has not been mowed for a week, is long and is beginning to bend forward over itself, and when you walk through it, catching the moisture on the toes of your shoes, your footprints leave a deep trail behind you like the wake of a heavy ship that has cut through still, reflective water. Only a few scant remnants of last night's gale remain––thunderheads tall and wide but whispy as they dissipate to nothing over the unending grasses and silence of the eastern plains. The storm sent the world to bed early. Duncan and I strolled the grounds before it broke, watching and listening as the little birds swept frantically from dense tree to tree searching for the perfect spot to ride out the winds and the big drops which made a smacking sound as they struck the earth. The lightning rocked the clouds and the thunder was heavy and insistent but high up so the ground never quite shook even though it wanted to. The last of the sun's rays were trapped beneath the dense gray, reflecting off the moisture in the air and painting our faces, and the world, in golden hues.
The sun was not even up yet when we ventured out this morning. The birds suspected the promise of its arrival but only the trees seemed to remember it, their highest branches stretched upward and out, reaching for the first meager beams of light and warmth as they slid over the rooftops. There is a silence after a good storm that only the clouds of morning gnats appreciate as they hover low over the grass and crowd among the bottommost branches of the maples and ash trees that run along the fence-line. But Duncan and I appreciated the quiet as well as we slipped down The Run, ambling side by side, breathing the rich fragrance of morning and moisture and the newness of the day before the traffic sounds, the machine wails of the mowers and blowers and trimmers and the heat of the day sweep it all away.
Sweet silence is such a rapturous thing.