Monday, May 23, 2011

The Power of a Storm

When I was a child, I was terrified of thunderstorms. I would dread them the way some people dread going to the dentist. I would listen to the weather whenever the weather was warm, just in case. I would have little superstitions that I felt warded off storms.

When we did have storms and I was young enough, I'd run to my parents bed and crawl under the covers with them. If they weren't in bed yet, I'd sit with them until the storm was over.

Then came the day when my dad got fed up of me being so terrified of storms and he made me go outside during a storm. I was very frightened but he managed to prove in that moment that a storm was just a storm. After that, my fear abated and I no longer dreaded storms.

Nowadays, for the most part, I love thunderstorms. I love the majesty of them and the power they have to clear the air after a string of muggy days. I love the comfort of being inside when the storm is raging and I'm able to watch the lightning and rain from safety.

Then there are the storms that still have the power to scare me just like the one we had tonight, for example.

I knew it was supposed to storm and when the sky started clouding over, it was obvious we were in for a thunderstorm. Since the pups are a little skittish about storms, I decided to change my routine and hop in the shower before the storm hit. That way the pups and I could sit together and enjoy the thunder.

It's amazing how quickly storms can arrive. I was in the shower when I heard the wind pick up. There was a rather alarming howl that began to echo through the small window in my bathroom even though it was firmly closed. Then the tornado sirens went off.

There's nothing that can put an end to a peaceful moment quicker than a tornado siren when it's fighting the sound of a hungry howling wind.

Needless to say, I was alarmed enough that I finished my shower quicker than you can imagine, hopped out and realized that the storm was not only here but it was a bad one.

The wind was blowing so much that the house was shaking. The tornado alarm was blaring. I didn't know whether we were just having wind or there really was a tornado. It's hard to tell because the sirens go off when the possibility is there. It's a little hard to tell if they're telling you there is a tornado there. Given the sudden strength of the storm and the speed of the wind and the fact that there were tree branches blowing by my window, I decided that it would be safer to act like it was a tornado.

The pups and I headed for our 'safe' room- the little bathroom with no windows in the middle of the house. Just as we got there, the sirens stopped. The wind had dropped a little so I decided to take a chance and turn the TV on.

The signal was spotty but it seemed that we'd had the worst of the storm. From that point onwards even though there was some pretty insane lightning and some rather goosepimple inspiring crashes of thunder, the storm started to die down.

The pups and I cuddled together on the sofa, watching the weather, just in case but the danger was definitely over. In the end, it turned out that we hadn't had a tornado but instead, we'd had 65 mph winds.

I felt a little silly afterwards for my fear. I think that often happens when you get scared- afterwards, you feel a little foolish.

Nevertheless, I'm glad that it wasn't a tornado and that it was just a very severe storm. If it taught me anything it's that no matter how old and wise you feel, certain things have the power to turn you back into a frightened child, even for a moment.

I think there's definitely a lesson in that. Also, I think I'll pick when to take a shower more wisely next time.

Happy Tuesday and thanks for reading!

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