Last night was the first rain of the season. Not simply first rain, but first storm. Beginning not long before seven o'clock, as the last of the day was fading from the sky, lightning brightening the atmosphere. Not simply isolated strikes flashing, but several seconds of the brightest possible light followed shortly by the powerful, rolling booms of the thunder, echoing ominously as if in warning, like it had something to tell us.
Now, this morning, the sky is clear, the ground is dry, with only a few scattered puddles to secretly tell us that something happened last night. Joggers go by in shorts and t-shirts, as they've always done.
Last night we were all checking our flashlights for fresh batteries, and making sure there were candles and matches available in case the power went out, as it did in a few areas. We're prepared now for the next storm, whenever it arrives, whether tonight or sometime next month, because we know that it is just a matter of when, not if. The season is just beginning, after all.
But until that time, we'll go on about our business as usual with an extra umbrella or overcoat tossed in the trunk of our cars, just in case. We'll get on with our lives, but we'll be listening for that distant sound of the coming storm, and we'll be ready.