Cumulus clouds are my favorite: white piles of shaving cream in snappy blue skies. They portend thunderstorms on summer days and are crisp like bright laundry on a Minnesota clothes line.
Cumulus clouds are summer on the coast of Georgia and the state of Florida. On August days in Savannah, we could set our watches by the afternoon thunderstorms. I remember watching them roll in when I was a bank teller at a Trust Company branch a few miles inland. Our teller windows faced east toward the Atlantic and our view was unobstructed. After lunch, cumulus clouds would begin puffing up like popcorn. By 3 or 4pm, the sky blackened toward the ocean, and I’d watch the darkness march towards us, the lightning zap at its leading edge, and the rain slam into the bank’s plate windows as I counted out the cash for shrimpers’ paychecks. Fifteen minutes later, the sun shone blinding on gleaming wet windshields. Steam rose off the hot asphalt of the parking lot.
Cumulus clouds are what I miss most about Florida. The sky is wide open in that flat state of sun-warmed land surrounded by ocean. Every summer day included bright cumulus clouds in blue sky. I loved driving under those clouds and watching them build out into anvils. They’d turn from to happy white puffs to grumbly grey mammoths to ominous black cloaks that obliterated the sun. Thunder boomed and lightning blazed and rain finally slashed the air, and it was electric.
I’m trying to get back into 10-minute writes with no judgement on myself for what I write. This was a free-write from the prompt “cumulus.”