The Raging Strom

It's been raining for two days -- a rarity in the high deserts of Utah. During especially intense moments as the rain pounds against the house, Aidan likes to stare out the window and watch water run off the sidewalks and fill the gutters. I wonder if it's the beauty of the storm that attracts him to the window. Maybe it's the way the wind wraps the branches of the trees around each other or the way the lightning turns the sky from grey to white for one brilliant moment. Whatever the reason, Aidan loves to watch. I like watching too. There's something about powerful storms that I find captivating. When storms like this blow through our tiny town, I wish our home had a large covered porch so I wouldn't have to watch it behind two panes of glass. I want to be able to sit and feel the wind on my face and listen to the rain as it beats upon the house.

Later I put Aidan to bed. Even though the blinds are closed, Aidan stares intently at the window as if he can see the storm raging outside.

"Goodnight," I say.

"Night," Aidan says still staring at the slits of grey light that peaked through the blinds.

Sometimes Aidan likes to open the blinds and stare out the window after we put him to bed. I know that tonight I'll find him watching the storm when I come to check on him.

I head to the family room. Marathon Girl is lying on the couch watching television. She's had a long day and is tired. I sit on the far end of the couch and start massaging her right calf. It's been giving her problems of late and hampered her running. After a few minutes I can feel the tension in her body lessen and her breathing becomes more regular.

A gust of wind shakes the house. I glace up at the ceiling as if I expect the wind to tear the roof off the house and blow our quiet life to pieces.

"It's been like this all day," Marathon Girl says. "It never let up. I couldn't even go running today -- at least not with the kids."

"Your leg needs rest," I say and give her calf and extra squeeze to drive the point home.

Marathon Girl flips a few channels and stops on the local news. The main story is about a small plane that crashed into the murky waters of Utah Lake last night, killing the pilot and two passengers. An official looking into the crash blames the storm for bringing the plane down. The reporter says that recovery efforts were called off early today because of the storm. The story flashes to friends and relatives of the three men standing on the shores of Utah Lake crying.

The story makes me think of Aidan staring out the widow watching the storm. I tell Marathon Girl I'm going to check on the kids.

"Hurry back," she says. "I don't like being alone with the storm raging like this."

My thoughts are on the storm as I walk back to Aidan's room. Another gust of wind shakes the house. I marvel at the storm's intensity and how something so beautiful can be so deadly.