Away in the distance on a cold dreary night, the horizon is lit by flickering lights. Storm clouds as black as the darkest heart and lightning tears the very air apart. A grumbling mass of swirling bile, the silence, the earth, the night to defile. Like distant portents of desolate doom, sorry shadows of a dusk, too soon. The dull silhouette of the thunderheads mass allowing no hint of sunlight to pass. A force so unequalled in nature’s good grace, rumbling and grumbling and gathering pace. Startled birds are retreating on high, away from the dark and threatening sky. Livestock huddled beneath a stout tree as fences deny their instinct to flee. The first drops of rain as the vanguard appears, a sign of the tumult growing ever so near. A blinding flash and a rumble so loud, heavens open, shedding tears on the ground. The deluge arrives with a deafening roar of whooshing water flooding over the floor. Wind whipped trees waving to and fro, bowing and scraping their branches in woe. Bright flash of lightning, resonating boom rattling its way through the devastating gloom as rain turns to hail bouncing high off the ground, crashing and clanging on roofs all around. Barn doors rattle in percussive complaint as the hail dents metal and dislodges paint. Old cracked windows are threatening to break and the shutters are creaking a sorry debate. The hail starts to ease as the storm marches on, its battle cries raging a warning to come and as quick as it started, the hail disappears leaving soft, gentle showers to wash away fears. A break in the clouds lets the sun shine through and a hint of the sky can be seen, clear and blue. The shadows have shifted and the heat on the ground raises whispers of steam floating lazily around. Nature, The Master; servant of none, mother of all beneath the shimmering sun. From fresh sandy shores to the deep frozen wastes, she’s a force that no other could hope to outpace. Written by Darren Scanlon, September 2013 Revised by Darren Scanlon, 9th July 2015. ©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.