Ask and you shall receive, I guess. The other day I was lamenting the lack of rain here in Arizona. Apparently the gods were listening. Last night Haniakuluiau paid us another visit, but this time she brought Kaha'i, the god of lightning, with her. And boy was it obvious when they arrived. It rained at my place for a good three hours, and there was a period of maybe 30 or 40 minutes when there was just constant lightning. I filmed some it and you can see it here. Most of it was just up in the clouds, but there were a few ground strikes. In fact, one hit one of the buildings in my apartment complex - the one directly across from mine. There was this absolutely tremendous flash/bang, which caused the lights to flicker. I went outside to see what had happened and one of my neighbors was on his porch. He pointed across the said and told me the lightning had hit "right fucking there!" I couldn't see any damage last night or this morning, so I guess things are OK, but still - it surprised the hell out of me. What I did see this morning was the damage to all the trees in the area. I expect to see some branches and maybe a small sapling down (of which there were many), but the wind was strong enough to bring down at least two full grown trees that I saw. The radio this morning said that Sky Harbor Airport reported at least one gust of wind over 90 mph (I have not, however, been able to confirm this report as of yet).
I stood outside for quite a while just watching last night. As I've said, I love the rain, but I also love lightning. The pure power and beauty of it is hard to match. This does not mean I'm stupid about it, however. Having electrocuted myself on a couple of occasions, and as the family car was struck by ball lightning (basically a big static discharge) while my father was holding on the raised tailgate, we know for sure that my family seems to attract electrical activity. While I love to watch the lightning, I respect it and don't mess around with it.
You know, there are days you wonder if the gods are really there and if they are really listening. Then there are the days they make sure you know.