There was a boom and a crack in the middle of the night – nothing unusual for a spring thunderstorm. But since I’m not sleeping as deeply as I usually do, I woke right up. Maybe I was waiting for the rain. I’m not alone, wanting this rain – the ground had started cracking and the farmers, though blessed with a long cooperative dry stretch for planting, now needed the rain to keep things in the black.

I love the idea of thunderstorms and the feel in the air after they’ve torn through. The light show and the sound system always awe me – and scare me. I want to be the one on the front porch eagerly watching the fun, but more often I’m huddled near the stash of candles and the radio, hoping a tornado isn’t following along behind, praying the lightening won’t be attracted to one of the mature trees out front, wondering how many shingles the wind will coax off the they-don’t-make-em-that-steep-anymore roof.

The corn, having just peeked through the soil a few days ago, is marching taller across the fields after the storm. My wilting new hydrangeas, which have been limping along on two buckets of water a day (if I remember in both the morning and evening), seem just a trifle more hopeful, as though they will make it through the fierce sun of summer. And then there are the sunny dandelions, who don’t so much need the rain, popping up in cheerful multitudes all over the shimmering lawn (and in every nook and cranny, including the garden!).

A thunderstorm clears the air, freshens things up. This particular one, sliding in at midnight and leaving only a morning drizzle as evidence, gave us a respite from the hot, demanding sun. How, after all, do you rest when the weather’s so beautiful? But then the storm delivers an overcast gift equal to a deep intake of mountain air.

May seems to be a time of upheaval everywhere. Everyone I know is busy, from the farmers to the mothers to the students. It’s a time of wrap-up and a time of beginning, a chance to get outside at last even as the insides beg for attention. There are never enough hours, nor, it seems to me especially now, enough energy to get it all done.

I’ve been trying to get a handle on what I thought were small changes in my life – a new life within, a growing toddler, a yearning to pursue a dream, a need to address household renovations. (Why did I ever think that combination was small?) I’ve been trying to make tiny adjustments without really changing anything, and I’ve been failing pretty badly. Sometimes it takes a storm to clear the air – or a few weeks of hibernation, as the case may be.

Walking outside this morning in the chilly drizzle, I felt renewed. I felt like it – all these not-so-small changes – were possible, probable, positive. I felt that God’s plan was OK and that understanding it was not as important as just listening, accepting, following.