Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sunday Favorites -- Spirit In The Sky

It's Sunday and time for Sunday Favorites, where Chari, from Happy to Design allows participants to share an old blog post with readers, while still taking Sunday off, by reposting an old post.

Years ago, as an over the road truck driver, I collected a few thoughts and stories from my journeys and travels. In my Sunday Favorites posts, I am sharing some of those stories.

This one was written after an adventure Diann and I had together. Those of you from Texas, and those who have visited there, will understand:

Spirit In The Sky

Montana calls itself "Big Sky Country" and it only takes one trip through Montana to understand why.  Imagine yourself driving under a bright blue inverted Tupperware bowl. Not the little cereal bowls, the big potato-salad-for-the-family-reunion bowl.  The Pop-enough-popcorn-for-a-double-feature-video-night-on-the-couch bowl.  You know the one I mean. 

Montana has a big sky all right.  A sky that stretches all the way from one edge of the horizon to the other. A sky that arches overhead in a vaulted ceiling of heaven.  An umbrella of atmosphere, holding the raindrops out, and the sunshine in.  A BIG SKY!

As big as the Montana sky is in the daytime, however, the Texas sky at night is bigger.  Texas night sky doesn't just reach to the edges of the horizon, it wraps around the bottom and comes back up the other side.  The Texas night time sky leaves no doubt that this world we live on is a tiny speck, in a vast and endless universe. The stars at night truly are big and bright, in the heart of Texas, and the rest of the state too!

And did I mention the darkness?  Texas Darkness makes pitch dark look like partly cloudy.  In the Northeast, (and I consider everything north and east of Saint Louis, Missouri to be Northeast), there is no such thing as dark.  When you drive down the road, as soon as the lights of one city disappear in your rearview mirror, the glow of the next appears in your windshield.  You never quite get away from the neon and fluorescence.  But in Texas?  In Texas, you can drive for days, for weeks, and never see a city.  Not a town, not even a farmhouse. 

So it was, that we drove through Texas, late at night, in the rain.  The clouds shut out even the stars, and the darkness became a beast, held at bay by two feeble headlamps. 

The rain had started innocently enough, as a gentle sprinkle, but had quickly evolved from a steady drizzle to a fierce downpour.  Windshield wipers slapped back and forth, moving water over the glass in a valiant, but futile attempt to keep it clear.  I leaned forward, peering through the rain, trying to see the road, looking for a place to stop for the night, or at least wait out the storm.

Suddenly, the night was transformed, instantly, by  a brilliant white light.  Every pebble on the roadside stood out in vivid relief, as the world glowed, and then, as suddenly as it had come, the light was gone and a great roar of thunder shook the very ground we drove on.  The thunderstorm went on for what seemed like hours.  Straining my eyes, to see through the inky blackness, only to be blinded by an overwhelming influx of lightning, and immediately returned to total darkness.

Finally, we found a place to park.  The parking lot of a What-a-Burger where we could sit and watch the storm, without the fear of driving off the road.

No fireworks display on the Fourth of July has ever lit up the sky like the lightning of a Texas nighttime thunderstorm.  No man-made pyrotechnics can compare with the splendor and beauty of those fingers of power, stretching from the very heavens to touch the earth.

If I ever had doubted the presence of a higher being, all doubt would have been washed away, as  I watched the sheer power and energy of that storm rage across the sky.

~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~

Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.

Read all about it here



  1. Great post, glad you did a Sunday favorite. Texas sky is huge isn't it and the storms...amazing. You really have had a great opportunity to see so much of our country. Nature always makes me wonder how anyone could not believe in God.

  2. This was an incredible post! I think you are a very creative writer! Thank you for sharing this story with us! Happy Weekend! Anne

  3. I'm a born in and raised in Texas girl.. and I agree. When the stars are out at night..there looks to be so many that it's almost unreal..and then there's that pitch black,that gives new meaning to darkness. I do so enjoy your writings, and I still think you should put your stories in book form. You have the heart and gift of a writer,and a very good one at that.

  4. Nature's displays are amazing! I've never seen the Texas sky, but I have seen the Auroa Borealis from a plane bound for England, and it's something I will never forget. Humbling, and awe-inspiring.

  5. I love thunder and lighting storms but not when I am trying to drive.
    BTW your link from Sunday Fav's isn't working right. You might want to copy your link location and put it in again.
    It says: Page not found
    Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog I Refuse to Recede does not exist.

  6. Hi Troy...

    I see that Lori E just left you a note about your Sunday Favorites link not working correctly. I hope you don't mind...but I added another link for you! Didn't want anyone to miss out on this fabulous story!!!

    My friend, after living in south Texas for 30 years...all I can say is...a hearty AMEN! I've traveled to alot of places but there's no place quite like Texas! I just laughed when I read what you's sooo true, you can travel for, what seems to be an eternity, before reaching the next town! Since my family lives in Corpus Christi, I've made that long ol' trip across the state many times! I do have to say though, that the thunder and lightning storms out here in eastern Colorado are pretty interesting to watch! I can't tell you how many times that my Russell and I have hopped into the car and drove far out on a country road to just watch the clouds and the storm! Hehe! It sounds like you and Diann have had so many great times during your travels across this great country! I'm a bit envious, my friend! But I'm so glad that you're sharing them with us for Sunday Favorites!!! I always look forward to reading about your travels and experiences while you were trucking! Thank you!!!

    I hope that you're having a super Sunday, my friend!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  7. I have to admit, this trip made my top 10 scariest trips in a semi! What was so frightening was te next morning when we heading back out on the road and saw a truck/trailer totally destroyed laying on it's side across the highway. And that truck looked identical to the one we were in.

    Apparently the wreck had been so horrific that this accident had made national news and my parents knew we were right in that area at that time. They had seen that truck and had tried to call us for hours thinking it was us. Of course, both of our phones were on the charger all night. Very frightening night.