Spend any amount of time living by the ocean and you see how wildly different one day can be from the last. Yesterday evening we were floating in crystal clear, crisp water on gentle waves that made the massive Atlantic Ocean feel more like a quaint lake. We swam for all of twenty minutes before looking over to see a bolt of lighting strike the water one jetty over. Couldn’t run-slash-swim out of the water fast enough, but I’m sure we looked very graceful and not at all terrified.
See, my sister and I have polar opposite survival instincts, meaning I have them and she doesn’t. Adrenaline runs like sludge through her veins. She’s insanely strong, but has one pace and it’s not fast especially when any normal person would see cause to book it.
Between the time I grab our stuff and she moseys back, five more bolts strike, hitting the water and the sand not twenty feet away from us. Meanwhile she’s brushing off each grain of sand as if lightning wouldn’t dare strike a sightly less sandy woman. The only thing to do was hold her hand.
Anyway, we swam in a crystal clear, electrified ocean yesterday and today its perfect-for-sand-sharks murky brown. I have to say that not being struck by lightning nor eaten by a shark equals two points: Score! Score!
So maybe removing yourself from lightning’s path and passing on sharky-looking brown water doesn’t sound like death-defying feats to you? Well last summer I was too sick to do much of anything let alone play tag with nature. Plus, you weren’t there, man. Far away lightning is exciting. Up close lightning when you’re one of the tallest things on the beach makes you almost want to question every choice in life that led you to this place. I said “almost”. I wouldn’t trade places with my last summer’s self for anything.
Last year, I read about an incident where a couple holding hands were struck by lighting. Because they were touching they split the lightning and neither was killed. So if I ever get half hit by lightning, it will be my stubborn sister’s fault and that, to me, is the ultimate cue whiny sibling voice, “Not fair”.