Every summer for the past few years, as the thunder rolls through the south and the heat drips down our spines making us all cranky and slow moving, I considered writing my real life encounter with lightning. Yes, lightning. I have been close enough to it, to feel the heat, and lose a little moment of time. I can’t really explain it. I wasn’t scared, maybe because I didn’t know to be scared. Awed, and stunned, perhaps.

Anyhow, I had gone to my parents for dinner. As the group of us were leaving, a storm rolled in. The skies turned pitched black, the wind began to pick up, and as we all dashed to our cars, everything went white and still and hot and time seemed to stop. It was definitely WHITE, blinding white, the heat and stillness, may have been imagined, but they seemed very real at the time. As I felt my knees give way and my body drop to the ground (out of instinct?), I noticed in some part of my rational brain, that my brother-in-law holding my little niece did the same, as did my sister standing in the yard between us. Every fiber, every hair on my body crackled with energy. I felt crinkled. Still, I didn’t really understand what happened. I never heard the boom.

As the flash faded, we got up off the ground, and ran back to my parent’s covered front porch. I realized there had been a close lightning hit. My dad and brother-in-law explained what happened. Lightning struck the street light pole next to my car. The pole was smoking on top. I seem to remember the street light blew out, but I’m not sure about that now. I was too close to hear the boom as was my sister. I’ll never forget that feeling. It was really strange. The only way I can think to describe it as a moment in a light beam. pure energy.