Afternoon Thundershowers on the Highveld
There’s something about a summer storm in South Africa on the Highveld. The days are hot and bright with a clear blue that tends to deepen towards the horizon. The heat will build as dark clouds begin to loom forth in their expansion. The depth of blue and grey in them offer a dramatic note – the romance of Rothko’s chapel bearing down, filling the sky.
Sometimes the wind will pick up, and with it comes the strong chance of hail fall. But more often than not, the heat will grow thicker, an amplification of the suffocating heat and dust that surrounds us. The thunder will crack and roar above you, projected from the fine lines of lightning as they touch the ground below. It is difficult to define, but there is sometimes a glorious final crack of lightning that the cloud seems to need for release. However, more often than not, the drops have already started to fall. The storms are so impressive, so phenomenal that it is an event to experience. It is a rumble of power. It is an awakening of the senses, as the sweat on your body begins to cool and the fine hairs on your arms rise up – chilled as the temperature drops around you.
At night, when the storms occur, the electricity is the first thing to go. Instead the lightning takes centre stage, dancing across the horizon in complete darkness. A series of electrical veins surging across the sky, unapologetic of where they connect, only desperate to strike the earth below. The rain can be light and soaking, or large splashes, but still the thunder and lightning will sound and flash. There is something so captivating, so comforting, in the energy of a summer storm. I wonder if it is the sound or sight of the water as it makes contact with the earth? The charge of energy from the thunder and the lightning as it expels itself? Could it be the progress of the storm as it moves overhead, destined to rain elsewhere? I do not know. But, storms like these, with the enormous power to cause floods and fires, and hail the size of golf-balls. These storms happen on a daily basis in the summer months, and after a long dry winter I look forward to their displays. A kind of thrumming of energy that connects you in the most primal way to the earth around you.
Danielle | @inkpad89