It’s 11:38 am and it’s already 88 degrees. The clouds are starting to roll in from the Gulf, a phenomenon that happens to be one of my favorite things about a Texas summer.
For the first half of the day, only a few pockets of moisture make their way through the sky. As the sun climbs higher, just about when our shadows are directly below our feet, the south eastern sky becomes a dark grey, ominous and foreboding.
They never make it this far, the storm clouds. Try as they might, they lose steam down around Poth. By the time they make it to southern San Antonio, they merely act as shadows of their former selves, giving us only momentary relief as they pass by and leave us for the north.
Sometimes, though, San Antonio is a battleground between the warm ocean air and the relatively cooler breeze coming from the plains of the panhandle. That’s when the real sights and sounds of summer begin.
The small, relatively unnoticeable puffs of moisture grow and grow until they take up a quarter of the sky. Sometimes they grow so tall they reach the heavens themselves, flattening out like a puff of smoke hitting a ceiling. Since they can’t grow any higher, they’re forced to expand farther and farther on the horizon. Then, they move in for the kill.
In an instant, the world turns a black/grey, sometimes even a dark ocean blue. The clouds then release their contents over the thirsty earth below. Cracks of thunder and bolts of lightning rattle the air, which by this time is so saturated with humidity, it might as well be soup.
But just as quickly as they came, they disappear. Having served their purpose, they move on as though we were just a summer fling to be tossed to the curb when something better rolls along.
The plants perk up. The birds search for their next meal as the tiny worms and grubs try to escape the deluge that was just unleashed. And the humans peek their heads out of their tiny artificial environments, seeing their shadows burn into the drying concrete below.
As the day moves on, more clouds will battle against the sun for control of the sky. Eventually, the moon will win out, and we’ll finally be able to escape our tiny holes, if only for a minute, to socialize and breathe, to enjoy the outdoors before the battle for control of the skies begins again the next morning.