General Non-Fiction posted March 29, 2014

This work has reached the exceptional level
Beautifully wild storm.

Savage Glory

by Margaret Snowdon

                                SAVAGE GLORY

Up to the time of my leaving home the skies had worn one stainless and unbroken blue, though the air had been close and sultry, but now a light, gusty breeze sprung up, which, I felt, indicated a storm. I had scarcely proceeded a mile when scattered clouds began to form, increasing in magnitude and deepening in darkness every moment. In half an hour the whole heavens were covered with a dense rolling mass of clouds piled upon each other, and having that aspect of bronze and blackness that is common to summer storms.

     As is usual with me at these times, I felt extremely languid. An oppressive weight lay on my temples. I have long had a presentiment that I should one day be struck by lightning and, though I love to see the awful grandeur of the tempest, I fear it at the same time. On this occasion, the loneliness of the spot, with not a human being in sight, increased my uneasiness, and I was undecided whether to proceed or turn back.
     When we are in the presence of real or fancied danger, how active the mind is, how vivid the memory, recalling in a single instant the scenes and events of a lifetime. Mine naturally reverted to home, my beloved husband and my children, smiling in happy unconsciousness of my thoughts. I thought how dreadful it would be to meet my doom there, alone, not one being whom I loved to be near me at the terrible moment.

     While these childish fancies were passing through my mind, visible as pictures to the internal sense, the storm was ripening. An ominous stillness reigned. Not the twittering of a bird, nor the fluttering of a leaf was to be heard, while the clouds seemed to droop almost to the tree tops with the fire and rain they had gathered.

     At length came another gust of wind, which carried the dust along the track in a revolving pillar, and still the heavens were dumb. I was in a state of suspense when some drops of rain began to fall; another breezy sigh passed my ear; a sudden flash met me in the face and, after a brief pause the thunder burst from its lair, then down came the loosened waters in all the savage glory of the storm.

     At that moment I heard the sound of a motor behind me. It was a local farmer on a tractor, pulling a trailer behind. Recognising him, I hailed him down. We both mounted the trailer and, enveloping ourselves in the folds of an oil-cloth, were better able to brave the fury and watch the progress of the contending elements.

     In company I felt much more at ease, for there is a principle in human nature that makes us dread being alone in the hour of danger; and we can resign ourselves to an awful fate with greater fortitude when we have companions to share the peril. How strangely we are linked together. How inexplicably we are influenced by the presence of each other. Singly, how manifest is our feebleness! Brought together, how daring we become.

     The storm continued for half an hour or more, beautifully wild. The lightning wrapped us about like a fiery garment, and the thunder revelled among cloudland almost without intermission. The rain fell with a steady violence; now and then a gust of wind whirled it into a thousand misty eddies through the valley.

     Gradually, however, the heavens gave their burden to the Earth. Strips of blue sky broke forth, and the lightning became less frequent and intense, the thunder retiring to other regions and grumbling at a distance. The rain totally ceased, and ere the fall of twilight, the scene was as verdant, calm and deliciously cool as could be desired.

     The sounds of life were to be heard again: the lowing of cattle in the fields; the singing of birds to the setting sun; all attuned the soul to gratitude slid peace, and made it conscious of a renewed, clear and thoughtful serenity, in perfect harmony with the tranquil aspect of the scene.


For my friend, Diane (Words) who shares the love of nature with me.
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