And the thunder rolls

by Lorin Michel Tuesday, April 14, 2015 10:00 PM

Sitting up here on top of the hill, I watch the hawk swoop in an out. I hear the occasional car down on the road below. I always have to see if it’s our road or another. I don’t know the sounds yet. I hear the birds and dogs barking in the distance. I never see the dogs. I wonder where they are.

As I sat up here this afternoon, I saw the city below suddenly covered in shadow. Clouds were rolling in from the northeast, blanketing the sky and cooling temps that weren’t that hot to begin with. The breeze was slight, and sun still managed to fight its way through some of the clouds. But as they got heavier and heavier I wondered if it would rain.

I checked my phone. On my weather app, I currently have three cities: Tucson (because it’s local), Oak Park and Amherst. I can see what’s supposed to happen here, while simultaneously seeing what’s happening there and there. Usually Arizona and California are close in temperature, mostly sunny. Amherst has been icy and snowy. The app is kind of cool. When it’s snowing somewhere, it snows in the background of the app. It also shows rain. I’ve seen a lot of snow falling virtually courtesy of that app. I’m sure my family would like to have seen it virtually as well, rather than endure the savage winter they recently endured. The last few days the temps have been in the 50s 60s and even cracked 70 the other day. My sister said she was in sandals.

There was no rain falling in any of my cities today and none was expected according to my weather app. But I know I heard thunder, a long, slow roll across the sky, following by another. I looked outside and two or three big plops of rain hit the deck, dissipating almost instantly.

In 1991, Garth Brooks recorded a song called The Thunder Rolls. It was originally supposed to be sung by Tanya Tucker (whatever happened to her?) but she dropped it off of her album and so Brooks put it on his No Fences album. It was released in April of 1991 and quickly became a number one hit. It tells the story of a man coming home after being out all night and his wife guessing correctly, based on the smell of another woman’s perfume on his clothing, that he was out carousing.

I have this album. I have long been a bit of a Garth Brooks fan. I actually have probably four if not five of his albums. The Thunder Rolls was an allegory about a couple. In the song, a storm was brewing both outside and inside.

For some reason, that’s the song I thought of today when the clouds were rolling in and thunder was rolling across the sky, a great big bowling ball. There is no storm brewing in my marriage however. We survived the building of this house. We survived the move. We only had a couple of arguments.

When we told a friend of ours that we were moving and building a house his first response was: I hope you have a strong marriage. I laughed. But I heard from a number of people that the stress something like this puts on a marriage can cause the relationship to splinter to the point where it’s irreparable. I told Kevin and he also chuckled. But it was a warning that struck with me, and with us.

The thunder rolls above and portends a luscious storm. The thunder is not rolling inside though. We are as strong as ever, loving each other and our lives, and as the sky crescendos, I hear Garth Brooks and I hear us, up on the hill, surrounded today by clouds, living it out loud.

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live out loud

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