I am already on the road when it occurs to me that it’s much darker this morning. No soft rise of color, no pale sliver of moon. Darkness, seemingly out of place at this time of year.
The distant cloud backlit by lightning is a clue, but at the moment I only think of the beauty, not the warning.
By the time I turn off for the bridge crossing, the rain is falling fast, the slower speeds of local roads rendering greater visibility than the highway I’ll soon return to. I don’t see the bridge as I cross it; no lovely open skies of a clear morning, or the ghostly appearance of iron out of mists. I see taillights ahead, reflected glow on wet cement dividers, the truck beside me. Slow through the toll, wait at the light, careful mergings as a fresh torrent lowers visibility further.
This is not fun.
Back to highway, wipers on full speed, and I want a faster one. The turn off in Delaware, local roads mean slower speeds for travel but deeper wells of water. By the time I return to highway 10 minutes later, the drainage ditch is visibly becoming a river.
Reemerging on the highway with a need to cross to the far lane – careful and inching but always aware now how little I see, how water reflects everywhere and I am afraid my mirrors will trick me into missteps. I likewise give grace and passage to anyone signaling entry to my lane; I know they can’t see either.
Flash flood warnings scream over the phone while I slow down and clutch the wheel, a mix of hydroplane fears and prayers for mercy. He sees, and knows. I see far less clearly.
Harrowing is the word of the morning.
A respite as I approach the office, what is falling reduced to mere rain (there must be a different word for what was happening before) so that I can navigate the parking lot, juggling laptop and coffee cup and lunch bag and umbrella and make it inside only a little wet in total.
That was Not. Fun.