The Dance of Light and Clouds | Midwest Living

The Dance of Light and Clouds

We do love a good storm here in the Midwest. Especially after a long, dry summer.

Yesterday, after a hot and humid morning, the sky darkened mid-afternoon. A lot. "Wow, looks really black out there," one of our editors commented. Several of us poked our heads above our cubicles to look out toward the east. Clouds tumbled behind downtown Des Moines as a fast-moving storm brought 70 mph winds to parts of the city. We did what any cyber-connected group of people do: Grabbed our phones and starting taking pictures.

"Wouldn't it be awesome to be at the top of one of the taller buildings?" we wondered. But there wasn't time. Within a few minutes, the roiling skyscape of cloud shapes and light had been replaced by a thick blanket of gray.

Later, as I was driving home, the sky again started its magical dance of light and clouds; orange and gray jumbled on the horizon. I knew my cell phone wouldn't do justice to the colors. As soon as I popped into my house, I grabbed my Canon and yelled to my family, "I'm running out again for just a minute!"

Back home, we started to settle down to dinner when I glanced out the front window. "That light," I said. "It looks just like…there should be a rainbow." My husband rolled his eyes while I nabbed the camera. Sure enough, a pale rainbow spread across the sky. "Come and see!" I called. "It's gorgeous."

An hour later, the sky mellowed to blue with pink and yellow as night approached. I snapped one more picture. But already I was wishing I'd been able to capture the lightning earlier in the day. Maybe next time.