( Tuesday, the 5th )
on a perfectly typical South Florida afternoon, early in September of ’95, during an equally typical South Florida onslaught of more rain in a half hour than some parts of the world see in a year, and heralded by a typically stunning display of Thunder and Lightning, that seemed far too foreboding . . .
I, finding Myself quickly running out of available real estate that had not yet been recently and mightily scorched to Oblivion by any one of the passing Bolts of electrified Mayhem, and, also finding Myself acting as the tallest item within 200 yards, carefully threaded My way over to My Truck, parked across the now darkening and deserted construction site, under and quite close to the trunk of a large, and well-endowed South Florida Pine Tree . . .
the Quirk of Fate had strategically placed the Pine Tree immediately adjacent to the driver’s side of My Truck, so, while standing between the half-opened Door, with My back a mere inch or two away from the cold, damp bark of The Tree, and My feet firmly planted upon it’s roots, It happened . . .
because I usually wear a beat-up black Fedora, whose brim occludes any up-ward peripheral Vision, I never saw the Flash of Light, and with My left Hand now firmly fused with the door handle, I began to wonder about a strangely remarkable Sensation cruising up the length of My body, and All in the Time it takes to blink . . .
just now, and almost four Years later, I have had a quiet little Notion enter My thoughts, that, on the surface it seems trivial, yet it provokes a deeper Pause when examined by My heart, is the lonely little Fact, that the feeling, of this Light, came long before the Sound, of It’s Thunder . . .
when I finally gathered enough of My wits to decide to get in out of the Reign, wet, shivering, hyper-ventilating, and quite sure my heart was about to explode, I huddled in the cab of My Truck, staring at the radio, listening to NPR’s broadcast of a Man named Cal Ripken, who had broken a long-standing record held by another Champion, of long Ago, of one Lou Gehrig, known, to those who remember Him fondly, for His courage, and His fortitude, only as, the Iron Horse . . .
and out of The Past and over the AirWaves, spoken on July 4th, 1939 at Yankee Stadium during his farewell speech to the game of baseball, came His Voice . . .
“ . . . and I am the luckiest Man, on The Face of The Earth . . . ”
it was 4:02pm . . .
the Lightning had cleaved a smoking gash, high up on a major limb of The Tree, and would likely prove to be a mortal wound one day, yet it’s significance has left a lasting Impression upon the course of My life, and My world, and My Universe . . . and My left Hand, still . . . hums . . .
then, as now, when asked by those who have endured the telling of My Story, what, exactly, did it ~feeeel~ like, to be struck by Lightning, My answer, Ever was, and will Always be, simply, two five-letter words, and they, are Glory, and Grace . . .
from Book I, The Ring ( First Light ) The Seventh DoveTale – The Pageant of Lilies
and the inevitable PostScript of this, is that during the 6 months immediately following this amazing and surely life-altering event, I wrote the first 700 pages of a Story, called The Voyage of Kings . . . and, nine days short of 16 years later, there is no End, in sight . . .