The air is oppressive this morning, every thing seems to still. Calmness invades the surroundings to the point of apathy. Lethargy takes over my being. I can’t muster the energy to do my chores. I listlessly wander out into the newly sprouted fields and stroll to the meadow by my home. Silence greets me; the animals passively stand in the pasture with their heads bowed. Even the insects are quietly subdued this morning. This stillness is unnatural and unpleasant. I haven’t lived in the country long, but I've never seen nature so void. Usually the air teases nature, stroking and caressing everything within its reach, but not today.
I notice the animals in the field, they suddenly become animated. They raise their heads and look around, just as I feel my hair lift off my neck and ripple around my face. Finally, some activity. I feel tension leave my body; I hadn’t noticed how the oppression was affecting me. I look at the once empty sky and see a speck of white floating in my direction. It looks lonely in the immense sea of cornflower blue. It wanders above searching for something. Is it moving on aimlessly or does it have an intentional path?
After awhile another wisp appears and approaches the first. They come together tentatively, getting to know one another, only to dance apart. It’s a courting ritual as beautiful as the heavens and as old as time. Suddenly they merge, becoming one. No longer just puffs of white as it becomes a pale elephant. Its trunk is raised high, as if tasting the sky around it. A moment later and it changes again, its body thins out and stretches, its trunk becomes a neck and head. Now a giraffe is above looking down. More wisps appear overhead, I watch as monkeys, fish, buildings, planes, and more join the menagerie at play, their shapes constantly changing.
Oppression has lifted from its earthly bonds as the sky hosts the playful white wisps. Even the plants and animals around me want to join in the performance up high. The animals romp through the pastures. The trees gently shake their leaves and the grasses and bushes sway to a silent symphony. I shed the oppressive coils that were binding me and run into the pasture with the animals. I spin around with upraised arms, giggling like a child. Dizziness knocks me off my feet and I gently fall. The lush grass cushions me and I close my eyes and enjoy the simple act of making grass angels.
A single drop of water splatters on my face. I open my eyes to a different drama being played out above. More water falls down, its starts out slow, just a drop here and there. I enjoy the refreshing spritz, along with the animals. It’s been a while since we’ve been rejuvenated with any kind of significant flow. The trees and vegetation eagerly lap up the liquid the heavens release, but as the pressure of the heavenly faucet increases the animals run for shelter.
I rebuff shelter from the cascade until I become aware that the skies performance has turned from whimsical to dramatic. An orchestra has now joined the cast, with spectacular visual effects, exploding sporadically. I rush to the barn, once inside I wring out my hair and clothing. I feel like I’ve been swimming with all my clothes on. My skin is overcome by goose bumps in response to the changes in the air. I wrap my arms around myself and watch the battle that is now being fought in the sky. Gone are the fluffy white wisps, now they have changed into dark angry waves rolling across the heavens. They clash against each other, lights explode through the sky, lighting up the wisps like jack-o-lanterns. I realize, it’s to dangerous to run for the house as I watch the brilliant lights escapes the heavens and start stabbing at the ground. The battle rages above, sending its heavenly weaponry showering down upon the earth. The orchestra plays a percussion sympathy, snares and cymbals create a frightening back drop for the booms of the bass canons. Its solo is soon only accentuated by the fierce lights stabbing the surroundings. The colors that are flashing through the sky are mesmerizing as well as terrifying. The trees are pounded by the forces from above. The grasses huddle against the earth. And the vegetation curls into itself. I can feel the barn shudder from the barrage as the animals tremble and cry.
A brilliant blast lights up a panoramic view of the country side and I see it. A nightmare come to life, a veracious twisting monster, clawing its way down from the sky. I run to the back corner of the barn and cower with the animals. There is no where to go. There is no one to save me from the monster coming to devour us. I hear the monster coming closer; its roaring drowns out all other sounds. The battle in the skies has been temporarily silenced by the monster as it rips into the earth, shredding everything in its path. The poor barn valiantly tries to protect me and the animals from the monster clawing at its walls. Piece by piece, the monster rips at it. The walls tremble as part of the roof is torn away, sending fragments hurtling down upon all the inhabitants inside. The barn is battered yet stands fast, sheltering us. Suddenly quiet peeks my interest, is it gone? Has the monster left? I crawl over the debris, pushing past the cows to get to the window. Right before I grab the frame a ferocious roar bellows again and the doors are ripped away. The monster is back, it snatches me with its rapacious tentacles. My screams are only heard by me as I’m ripped from my shelter and into the blackness beyond.
Light pries at my eyelids and I don’t have the strength to fight it. The first thing I become aware of is the pain. My body feels like I’ve been run over or beat up by a monster. The next thing I notice is that I’m hanging upside down. I see the grassy meadow a few feet below. I untangle my legs from the branches and drop from the tree. How did I end up there? I imagine strong limbs wrestling me from the twisting monster, thus saving my life. Slowing I stand and look over my surroundings. The fields have been shredded; the neatly planted rows are now a pockmarked plot. Amazingly I see the trusty old barn; it is listlessly leaning to the side but still standing. The animals are in the tattered fields, resuming their morning rituals and the earth smells amazingly refreshed.
As I survey the damage, I ponder the events of the previous night. I had watched a heavenly battle and survived an attack of the monster; I wear my battle scars with honor. I look into the sky, the soft blue and fluffy white puffs are beautiful, but very deceptive. I now know it can turn on you in an instant. I learned an important lesson last night. God’s planet is a living creation, beautiful and amazing to behold. Respect and caution should always be used though because sometimes it raises hell.