Driving south on Route 200 towards Inverness to pick up a few items at the grocery store ended up being a journey through the center of a severe thunderstorm. We saw bolts of lightning connecting the ground to the sky that resulted in distant rumbles of thunder as we started our trip. Day turned to night and the heavens opened up and the deluge began.
I drove the car into a curtain of heavy rain that enveloped the car in an instant. Like a vehicle driven onto a car wash, the deluge of water made it difficult to see even with the wipers on full speed. I slowed down and continued to punch through the storm. And the storm punched back with hail pelting the car. Bolts of lightning crashed into the ground around us. And as fast as it started, the rain stopped and we could see daylight again.
Returning home, we entered through the entrance of our community to see the road full of debris – blown leaves, broken branches and fallen Spanish moss. Fences were torn down and the power was out.
The sun poked through the clouds and created a surreal cast over Lake Tsala Apopka. I heard the rumbles of thunderstorms to the east of the lake where dark gray clouds hung in the distance. It was now calm as a white ibis landed in front of me along the edge of the lake, turned its head to look at me as if to say “we persevered “.