Scanning the small island horizon as I drive back to base, I’m reminded of another time, another home, another road.
These clouds are oddly familiar as they line up above the mountains over Honolulu.
Marching like certain Minnesota clouds.
On those Minnesota roads so long ago, my foolish young friends and I would drive like mad into lines of clouds that marched very much like these over Honolulu. Those marching Minnesota clouds came with the way cool monster storms we so loved to mess with back then, to play our little dangerous game.
The best storms to chase were of course, the biggest ones. They were the storms from which everyone else was hiding. Everyone else was hiding because they we not young and foolish. They were hiding because they were listening to the radio report of formations forecasting the dreaded tornados.
We were not afraid of the dreaded tornados. We were young and foolish and we KNEW that we could outdrive any storm before we’d ever be in any real danger.
Of course (being young and foolish) real danger was what we were really after. We would wait until everyone else was hiding safely at home and then we’d go out onto the road most likely to head us directly into the storm. If it was coming from the right direction and if we timed it right, we’d be able to get up to high ground and see the entire storm system.
From our position we could see the line of monster storm clouds marching across the big wide horizon of the southern Minnesota plains. It was awesome! The slowly moving wall of grey and dark blue and black, would sparkle with sporadic flashes of lightning. Occasionally an isolated area might begin to rotate, indicating a developing tornado.
At the front of this the marching monster wall, would fall a massive sheet of advancing rain. That was the part we made into our game.
The timing was essential here. At just the right moment, we’d leave our high observation perch and drive down onto the wide empty plain blow. Speeding across the open country road leading straight into the monster storm, we whooped and cried and laughed and loved every moment of this, our foolish youth. We smashed into the deluge of falling water, spun around and zoomed out again.
Once again on the dry road, we’d get back to our observation perch and revel in our success, our victory over the slow-moving monster.
These clouds marching over Honolulu may have reminded me of those foolish days, but nothing more. My far less foolish adult self knows these clouds are nothing like those with which my young friends and I played our little game.
I drive back to base and get myself going to where I’ve planned to hide from this most dangerous monster of a storm.
Nothing to play with, this road… this highway is only to take me there. Where I’ll hide.