Is that thunder I hear?

P1070176Thunder. Great rolling thunder. Then rain. Big drops of rain. Short lived, but nevertheless rain. A storm!!!! Maybe not a big deal in other parts of the country, but here we will take what we can get. It is July in Southern California. It is the middle of summer and we are in the middle of a nasty drought. Cloud cover and even a bit of rain is a big deal. The cats didn’t like the thunder so they ran away (don’t worry my furry friends – the food is waiting for you). Hubby slept through all of it. Me? I loved it and opened the back door to be sure I heard it all – thunder and rain.

I thought back to childhood when even distant thunder scared me and lightening was absolutely terrifying. Mom didn’t care for either, recalling many such storms from her days in the rural South, yet she didn’t give in to my fears. “It’s just a little bit of thunder. Not going to hurt you.” We didn’t talk about lightening. At night, if a storm should occur, I would bury my head under the pillow so I couldn’t see the lightening. I’d learned to count the seconds between hearing the thunder and seeing the lightening, and as the seconds got fewer and fewer, meaning the thunder and lightning were getting closer and closer, I would dive deep under the covers, a pillow covering my eyes and ears. A trip to the Planetarium at Griffith Park explained lightning to me and instead of reassuring me, it terrified me.

As I got older I talked myself out of the worst of the fears. In college I visited a friend in Tucson and her family loved sitting on the patio, watching the lightening over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It was far enough away that I only saw the lightening, and I was with her and her very dependable parents. It was OK.

Then one night, some years later, while having dinner in a restaurant on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, with floor to ceiling windows and fabulous views, lightening started up over the canyon and South Rim. It was spectacular. Great bolts of lightning streaking across the canyon rim, breaking into long tentacles reaching into the endless black sky. I was mesmerized, absolutely mesmerized. The friend I was dining with commented that I looked far away, and he was right. I was lost in all the childhood fears and feeling them fade away in the brightness of the flashes.

Every Day Is A Good Day. VJ

One thought on “Is that thunder I hear?

  1. My niece was headed for an ocean swim this morning when she heard thunder and went to breakfast instead. I love thunder and lightening as long as I am in a safe place. I especially love a big, scary storm in the middle of the night. I don’t remember storms from my childhood, but one storm in New Orleans was so fierce that I relocated to the center of my apartment to be as far away from windows as possible. It is the beginning of the monsoon season in New Mexico and that means thunder storms and much needed rain (although we have had an unusually wet spring). Hopefully, one of those storms will happen in the middle of the night.


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