54: why I love a dark and dreary day

How ’bout that weather, eh?

Disclaimer: I acknowledge that, yes, it is still winter, and yes, it might be a little weird that Pennsylvania has seen so many warm, humid days recently. Some more informed folks than I probably see cause for concern. Who am I to say?

I am qualified to say that days like today are among my absolute favorite kinds of day, speaking in terms of the weather.


I’m not sure what the weather has been like near you, but where I am, today has been a textbook stormy day.

A lot of people don’t really dig when the weather gets crummy, and understandably so – rain and lightning can shut down a lot of outdoor fun and cloud cover cuts off our precious supply of mood-boosting vitamin D.

Strangely, though, there’s something about days like these that boosts my mood anyway.

Rather than try to psychoanalyze myself and get to the roots of this positive connection I have with stormy weather, I’ll just try to paint my experience for you.

 


 

In one of today’s intermittent dry periods between on-and-off torrential downpours, I stopped at one of my favorite local running loops near the Eternal Peace Light Memorial.

As I ran past marble monuments along ground upon which men died in a needless, violent conflict, I was resisted by gusts which whipped through my hair.

The cool wind kept me alert and acutely aware of the landscape which rolled off into distant green hills in one direction and towering historic churches and homes in another.

The colors around me were accented sharply by the backdrop against which they were set – humongous clouds rolling in like thick, purple tidal waves.

There is an odd brightness to stormy skies – dense, dark walls blot out the sun, yet light still radiates from somewhere deep within them to differentiate the day from the night.

Those monolithic masses of moisture were soon outlined by bright yellow flashes of lightning, and seemingly from a place even deeper still than the daylight came the rumble of thunder.

 

 

I was running directly into sensory overload, and was overwhelmed with a joyous energy.

I love the sheer power of a thunderstorm – visually and audibly they’re dark, heavy, loud, and blanket everything. Physically feeling the wind and rain on my skin backs that up.

Thunderstorms are also a visual display of electricity, which I typically think of as the invisible force that powers technology and which is carefully curated by man.

But lightning is wild and unpredictable, a reminder that there’s still so much we may never control.

To witness a storm one puts me in a trance of pure awe, an altered state of consciousness in which I have the utmost respect for nature.


Despite the sensory overload and my reverence for the powerful forces of the planet, I am fortunate enough to be able to go inside and watch peacefully from behind a window while nature rampages outside.

And as a white-noise-while-I-sleep kind of guy, there’s nothing that lulls me faster than rainfall.

Storms create for me a sort of yin-yang of energy and relaxation that always leaves me feeling refreshed.

And when they’ve passed, I can emerge into the calm aftermath as the clouds dissipate and reflect on why I love them.

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