The Sublime Beauty of Thunderstorms
August 22, 2011
We've had a spate of severe thunderstorms in the Kansas City area lately. In fact, a thunderstorm is happening as I write this. This one is a little tamer than the one responsible for all the downed tree limbs in my yard the other night, though. That one picked up a camper shell sitting in my driveway and blew it a good 30 feet. Thank goodness my car wasn't in its path! Despite all the destruction severe thunderstorms can inflict, they are often quite beautiful to watch...from a distance.
I think the best word to describe the feeling evoked by watching a thunderstorm is sublime: a sense of awe at the power of nature, a mixture of both pleasure and terror. A thunderstorm contains a vast amount of energy, comparable to the amount released by the detonation of a nuclear weapon. Some of that energy is released in the form of spectacular displays of lightning. There's nothing quite like watching lightning in a distant thunderstorm at night.
So the next time you see a thunderstorm forming in the distance, take a break and enjoy the awesome grandeur of nature. Maybe it will make up for all that time spent without electricity or picking up tree limbs.