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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Short #24

Image ID: con00006, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Collection

Location: New Mexico, Socorro area

Photo Date: 2014 September 24

Photographer: Martha Cather

Credit: NOAA Weather in Focus Photo Contest 2015

White-orange, grey shadow emerging, lava-gold inside. Against the blue of the world, we rise, sometimes after lightning has ignited our forests, us. Wind squalls and sends whatever isn’t firmly fixed flying. Or monsoon rains spill from broken-bottom sky-buckets. It all pours out. Everything held inside too long. Sunlight within. Inner burning. Inside turned outward. Outside collapsed in. We lose focus. Set our eyes on the color and scenery. Look away from the night inevitably coming. When it arrives with storm-thick clouds and thunderous rumblings, it reminds us that everything can be shaken. Storms make us wonder if our roof will hold, our walls, our windows, our conviction. Life awakens however it wants to, tells us, Take care. Stay aware. Seek cover. You cannot be too careful. Then it turns on a dime and demands we wake up, saying, There is nowhere to shelter. You can never be safe.

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