I don’t remember when it happened, the transition from fear to fondness … probably when I realized the beauty in them–but I absolutely love storms. There is something reassuring about the overwhelming strength of nature. Somehow, storms have the ability to make me feel small; as the world performs, I become tucked in … forced to be still and realize that the universe exists outside and beyond me. There is a certain splendor in the neutral, even way storms find us all.
Last night, where I live, we had our first major thunderstorm of the season. And may I say, it was worth the wait. The flicker of electricity across the sky, constant like a light bulb that needs changing, brightened against the night before the growing rumble broke, splitting the dark. I smiled, pulling the comforter around me as I stared out the rain-pelted window … thankful, for once, I didn’t sleep through it.
It is sort of sad to me that some people get frustrated or even annoyed with storms, highlighting their inconvenience like the rain was created to dampen their personal parade. Instead, I enjoy Shannon Alder’s perspective that, “God doesn’t put that much prep into something that is insignificant.” Let the image resonate … can’t you just imagine the time and precision it takes to orchestrate such magnificence? A master of composition and choreography, the maker of wind and sky, light and water–sets them to dancing in turn. Sometimes elegant, sometimes violent, but always passionate, the elements wait for permission to fall.
Though I can’t recall the exact time I became too enchanted to be afraid, I do remember the way my daddy always waited for storms. Sitting on our porch until the wind nearly carried him away sometimes, I’ll never forget the wonder-filled twinkle that would catch his eye the moment that heavy stillness came; I think that was one of his favorite parts. Like a boy seeking adventure, this fascination is something he’s never outgrown, and I’m proud to now share in the awe. I’m not sure if it works that way genetically … if you inherit character elements along with chromosomal pairs–his nose, her eyes, his love of storms. Still, that was how it happened for me. I suppose it is one of those nature versus nurture questions for psychology to distinguish. But for me, it was my father’s nurturing love of nature that solidified my admiration.
The Turkish playwright Mehmet Murat Ildan said, “Storms give you a chance to surpass yourself!” So the next time one comes upon you, internally or as a performance of nature, try to marvel … to be still … to feel small.