Storms

By Jeanette Schmoyer

I have always loved storms. At our house we had a covered back porch, and every time a storm suddenly burst in the air with thundering and lightening, I would rush out onto the porch and stand there feeling the wind wildly blowing my hair and my skirt. The porch provided a safe place to experience this untamed offspring of Mother Nature.

Sometimes my neighbor would be out on her porch and we would call to one another. How that enriched the experience, two of us in communion, honoring the power of the wind.

For forty years I would relish the sound of an oncoming storm. As soon as I heard the first rumble of thunder, I would drop what I was doing and rush out onto the porch. If the storm was still distant, I would sit and wait for the winds to pick up.

Maybe the element of danger was really part of the excitement. Even with limited eyesight, I could see the sky light up with each nearby lightning strike. How beautiful and powerful it was in my mind’s eye! The power of the thunder, lightning and the wind filled me with awe.

Yet, each time I would hear about someone being hit by lightning, I would think of the horror and sadness of that situation. Somehow I could not relate my joyful experience with those terrifying ones.
Then one night the thunder crashed and the lightning cracked so near to our porch that it actually sent me running into the shelter of the house. My heart was pounding, and this time the danger had come too close.

Now, when I hear the rain pounding against the window at my desk, I remain seated, remembering how exciting it had felt to stand under the protection of the porch and let the wind blow hard against my body. That is all I do. I sit and remember. I am able to conjure up the feeling of joy, but I don’t go outside.

As I write this, I am sad. I recognize that it is silly that I am no longer rushing to feel the childlike excitement in the midst of a storm. The storm; my old friend, I miss you.

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