She sat at her dining table, with her laptop on and folders opened. Her table was a messy jumble of papers, all spread out and threatening to take over her workspace. As she went on with her duties, filling out spreadsheets and scrutinizing the files that contained what seemed like endless pages of tiny black ink over smooth, pristine paper, she could feel the sting in her eyes and the dull ache in the back of her skull. It was late in the afternoon, the sun was about to set, and all she wanted was to push all this off her desk and take a nice, long nap.
But there was an important deadline coming up, and her team was counting on her. So she trudged on, until the sun set and the light filtering through her shutters faded into a dusky grey-blue. The laptop’s harshly lit screen was in stark contrast against the darkness of her apartment.
Then suddenly there was a loud rumble and boom. It was enough to make her look up from her screen, and a flash of purple-white light danced in the corner of her vision. A few seconds passed, and there was another loud rumble and boom. She shook herself out of the world of black ink and spreadsheets, and the sharp scent of rain permeated the air from the open window. It promised a night of cold embrace and harmonious symphony.
The sounds of the storm grew louder and heavier, and she let herself put aside the spreadsheets and pack away the pristine papers to be dealt with later. The raindrops made a steady pit pat on the pavement outside. The soft rustling of trees weighed down by rainfall could be heard in between the fading splash of a car running through a puddle. The sounds washed over her, slowly easing her headache and calming her frayed out nerves.
She stood up, and the chair legs scraped against the wooden floorboards. She abandoned her work on the dining table, and crossed over to her bedroom. She pulled on a sweater and a coat to ward off the cold, and grabbed an umbrella from the storage closet by the front door before shoving her feet into a pair of waterproof boots. She opened the door and stepped out into an overhead field of dark, brooding clouds that were venting their heavy burdens. She shook out her umbrella, and a branch of brilliant light broke through the endless stretch of clouds, closely followed by its ever-faithful companion of deafening drums.
If you were there on that night, and you just so happened to be walking along the sidewalk of a certain street in a certain neighborhood, you’d pass by a woman standing in the middle of the walkway, her umbrella stretched out behind her shoulder and doing nothing to shield her from the rain. Her face would be pointed up at the sky, and her eyes would be closed, a gentle smile on her soft features. You would see her shoulders draw up on a deep breath, and sink back down on an exhale that creates a swirling puff of air in the cold. You’d pass by her, and you would wonder, about the surprising serenity in a storm.