Rising to meet the sky

After the rain, mist rises from the mountains to meet the sky. At times the mist rises in columns that bend gently like grass in a breeze, shifting east and then west at the whim of the winds. The movement is hypnotic and in its silence, mysterious.

Mountain mist.
Post-rain mists rising to meet the sky.

Zzzzzap! Pow!

Cold air from the north and west met up with our 80-degree spring day, producing powerful storms. Here’s what we saw this evening.

Skull sky

Here in Arkansas, where the Gulf of Mexico sends its warm, moist air streaming northward, and the Jet Stream regularly imports cold air from Canada, we’re no stranger to the scary skies that are generated when the two forces meet.

However, this sky image is scary in another way: More creepy than a green tornado sky and something more akin to the images of fear and horror seen in some German Expressionist cinema. Found the image this morning when cleaning off the SD cards in the digital cameras. This was taken September 2012 from our deck looking southwest.

SCARY SKY -- Skull-like formation in the clouds over central Arkansas.
SCARY SKY — Skull-like formation in the clouds over central Arkansas. (Untouched by Photoshop.)

By the grace of God and faith in engineering

Rain. Hydroplane. Slide.

In the seconds between leaving the road and coming to rest in the trees, there were three clear thoughts running through my head: “I hope we don’t roll.” “Get as deep into the seat as you can without bracing.” and “My husband’s side is going to hit the trees and there’s nothing I can do about it.”  He told me later he was thinking, “I’m glad it’s going to hit me and not her.”

The roadster’s front end hit a tree and the force spun the car. Then everything stopped. The only sound, the staccato drumming of the rain on the hard top, was broken by the questions:  “You OK? I’m OK.” “Are you OK? I’m OK.” And then we opened the doors and stepped out into the rain, giddy that we could.

We are grateful to the engineers who could design a car to take such a blow and allow us to walk away — even after 91,000 miles with adventures in 15 states. The front end absorbed so much energy the airbags didn’t deploy. Inside, the cabin was pristine, one couldn’t tell that anything was wrong.

We can’t help but think that beyond the engineering, the grace of God played the biggest part in our survival.

Sadly, the much-loved car is no more, totaled by the insurance company.

THE LONG SLIDE — The four tracks indicate the sideways motion over wet grass that was slick as ice.
OFF ROAD — Where the roadster came to rest.
THE DIAMETER OF A TREE — The impression left by the tree in the engine compartment, two weeks ago today.