A Lull in the Storm

A calmer afternoon at the lake. I wished I had my camera today, but instead decided to paint the sky with words.

I ran today at sunset down by the lake near my house. The sky was heavy with blue-violet clouds, complacently holding their rain after seeping all morning. Unfriendly waves assaulted the beach, sprinting from far across the lake. White frowns topped each pulse of water. A steady breeze accompanied the waves, pushing them, racing them? The sky and water were nearly the same color, but the jagged water seemed angrier, though the sky held promise of storms to come, the memory of storms past. The urgent wind, not cool, not warm, cautioned me that the storm was not past, not fully. Incongruously cheerful kites pulled kitesurfers roughly across the waves, stretching their arms in their sockets.

I ran further along the shore.

Golden sunbeams oozed through the dark clouds, staining the closest with a light wash of brightness and rimming them with white. A flock of small birds swished back and forth before settling on the water. Warm orange with a fading dream of coral conquered some of the airier, lower clouds. Yellow-orange shifted abruptly to indigo a third up the dense cloud bank like winter was plunged into the essence of summer. Golden threads of cloud hung like harp strings across a blend of blue and amber. Far away, the palette merged, the blues and yellows nearly indistinguishable.

I paused to watch the water.

The water reflected the sun’s fading warmth, black ripples marring the sheet of gold where the waves tilted towards me. An eagle harassed the flock of birds, swooping once, twice, three times, pushing the flock apart like a breeze scattering leaves. Each time the eagle pulled up, taunting the smaller birds like the rain clouds taunted me; the storm was not over, the danger was not gone. The lull in the storm was only a reprieve.

About Tracy Durnell

Seattle-area graphic designer and SFF writer inspired by the Pacific Northwest, crafting a sustainable and intentional life.

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