Last weekend I went camping for the first time in… at least a decade. In my youth I slept in tents frequently for both school expeditions and family camping trips, but I think the last time was when I hiked Tasmania’s Overland Track in early 2000.
Gosh. Can’t believe it’s been that long.
Anyway, I chose a momentous weekend to get back into it. Not only was a bushfire raging out of control a mere 30km away, but the heavens decided to crack open right on top of our heads.
We knew the rain was coming on that first night, but — even better — we were treated to an almighty thunder and lightning storm in the middle of the night.
I lay cosy in my sleeping bag, dragged out of sleep, registering each flash of lightning beyond my eyelids and holding my breath until I heard the thunder rumble. In the dark, I grinned.
As the minutes ticked past, the gap between the flash and rumble narrowed until thunder and lightning cracked almost synchronously on top of our heads. And the rain hammered the fabric of our tent, while we stayed warm and dry.
Being cocooned in a tent beneath — within — the majesty of a thunderstorm is a unique experience. It’s just about as close to experiencing nature’s full ferocity as one can get (short of going out in all the wild weather!).
I loved it and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It seemed a privilege, really. Another great experience to channel into fiction one day.
That wild night of thunder and lightning is my inspiration of the week. Have you ever been in a tent during a thunderstorm? How do you like to experience wild weather?