After my harrowing drive home from visiting my family this past weekend, it was looking like a nice week in the DC area, with perhaps a little rain but overall gradually warming temperatures and blue skies. Yesterday morning the forecast was for a chance of rain, but as the day wore on and the skies continued to look beautifully blue, I commented to my boss that it looked like they’d gotten it wrong.
Then, as I left the office at the end of the day, a few drops of rain began to fall. By the time I reached my car, no more than a hundred yards away, the rain had intensified, and very large drops were beating a tattoo on the windshield. As I turned out of the facility onto the highway, the skies got very dark, and the large drops turned from rain into little pieces of hail that broke apart into icy mush as they pelted the car, punctuated by booming thunder. The hail continued off and on for the ten-minute drive home, but I also saw an amazingly bright, beautiful rainbow that covered an entire 180° arc.
Fortunately, the hail was small and slushy, so there was no damage to the Prius. And, ten minutes after getting the car home and safely into the garage, the skies were practically clear and a gorgeous shade of blue again. It was really rather surreal; science-fiction/fantasy geek that I am, I kept thinking it was like driving through alternate realities a la navigating to Zelazny’s Amber, or “scampering” along the branches of the world tree of Chabon’s brilliant Summerland (which I’m reading–and enjoying immensely–right now).