The part of me that thrills at fireworks, howitzers firing during the 1812 overture, and watching summer thunderstorms from the screen porch* has always yearned to witness a tornado–until photos and videos of their unpredictable violence bring me as close as I truly want. I went to Maine mid-day and was oblivious until this morning of yesterday’s tornadoes and violent thunderstorms in Massachusetts. This photo stays with me, capturing the tornado’s casual, indifferent power in the incongruity of the squashed red car lying on its side against a tree.
*one of my life’s aural highlights was the Boston Pop’s 1976 Bicentennial 4th of July performance of the 1812 Overture on the Boston Esplanade.** 400,000+ people, church bells throughout the Back Bay ringing and 105 mm howitzer cannons firing in sync with the orchestra, and a bicentennial-worthy fireworks exploding overhead. Only thing missing was the thunderstorm.
**This video of the 2005 performance captures the experience reasonably well, including audience members’ clumsy, arrythmic dancing. The 1812 Overture starts at 1:50, if you want to skip the Star-Spangled Banner.