In the house there wasn’t the urge to become obsessed with the weather, but here in 7H we have an unobscured 180° southern outlook where we stand admiring creation’s living mural. This morning I came outside at four-thirty and looked up at a black, starry sky, Orion high in the east. The Bay’s flashing navigation lights, red, and my green light across, beyond it Χάρων the ferryman of Hades casting off and coming my way. Thinking I saw a burst of light in the east, I move to Linda’s chair by the porch rail, and sure enough, there’s lightning in more than half of my southeast quadrant, stretching from elegant flashing in the clouds over the paper mill round to the occasional streak, lightning bolt far off beyond Tyndall Field. Tyndall’s control tower light is not sweeping round white green white green, and I don’t remember it being on last evening. I love to watch when they fly night ops, bingo, touch and go from, what, Apalachicola back, down, disappear, and back up, round by us, west and south again.
We’ll be in Apalachicola on Saturday, and if my time-turner would take us back to Tass twelve years old and the three of us wandering round the beautiful, magical rectory deciding where to put what furniture when it’s delivered, I might do that. My girl gets the best bedroom of course, front with its own little balcony. Years beyond that, he told me, Barnum and Betty McCarthy had that bedroom, and he remembered evenings calling the RedTop and ordering “two and two” delivered and the young married couple enjoying a burger and a beer sitting on that balcony. An early and lifelong hero and role model, Barnum was my group counselor my first year at Camp Weed, summer 1946, he 17 and me 10. He and Betty came to our Trinity Church Sesquicentennial celebration in 1986.
Deliberate about it, it’s possible to wander away from the tears, and Time seems the only place to go. Time back when.
Almost six o’clock, sky brightening before the sun, and I see clearly the storm cloud that’s hosting the lightning. It seems to be inching southward, maybe the left side of TDNine circling as it heads up across the Big Bend, curving northeast