Monday, September 21, 2009
Lightning Is Still One of the Biggest Thrills of All
On a flight from Dallas to New York last night, I was privileged to witness a spectacular lightning storm. Fortunately, I had a window seat on the right side of the plane and had a perfect vantage point to witness this awesome display of nature's power and beauty. The photo above by Wiel Koekkock is of a storm over Heerlen, the Netherlands.
Just before sunset we crossed the Mississippi River and there were bright yellow and orange colors on the cumulonimbus thunderheads to the south. The contrast between the dark sky above and below caused these magnificent clouds to stand out as if they had been painted. The photo below by Bev Hadland (Essex, U.K) comes close to what I witnessed.
Bursts of lightning occurred every few seconds. Since I was at 35,000 feet, I had a rare viewpoint from which to enjoy nature's pyrotechnics. I was nearly even with the top of the cumulonimbus, which had the classic anvil shape.
This lightning storm was not only stunningly beautiful, it demonstrated the awesome power of nature. I felt as if I were witnessing something in another dimension-- a dimension where the chaotic forces of nature run wild and free. I heard on the news this morning that these storms caused extensive flooding throughout the southeast.
Watching this lightning storm out an airplane window was both humbling and thrilling. The raw power of nature showed me how small and weak I am. Yet, I felt blessed to have been able to take in this magnificent sight. Kierkegaard felt that this marriage of humility and pride could lift the soul to great heights. I couldn't agree more.