Coolest Lightning Strikes

Growing up in Alaska, lightning is not a common occurrence. Occasionally, in June, you might hear distant thunder or, if you’re very lucky, see a few flashes.

So, much as people visiting the north are unprepared for the beauty of the aurora, I’m rarely prepared for the awesome power of a lightning storm.

We’re in Uruguay, and we’re getting hammered. The storm is passing directly overhead, bringing with it waving sheets of rain, unsteady wind, and lightning. Being on the ocean, it started far out over the water, the sunset clouds lighting withe eerie colors. I whipped out the camera, my excitement at the thunder rolling in changing to exhilaration when the distance shrank.

Margaret grew up in the midwest, where lightning is about as common as rain, so she sighed as I whooped as the air flashed white and the entire house trembled, windows rattling, floor vibrating.  I could feel the power coursing through the air, a giant punching the earth directly. It’s a crazy thing.

So, in honor of lightning and thunder, here is a video of the coolest lightning. It’s sad that when we write stories or make movies, it’s the same old boring lightning strikes, when our planet offers visual wonder we can scarcely understand on a daily basis. As a space opera, we tried to infuse Shadow Run with a lot of visual splendor, but for the sequels, I’m hoping to remember just how incredible lightning is.

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