Saturday, April 21, 2012

STORMS (A-Z April Blog Challenge)

It’s been a long winter and I welcome the storms of spring with more anticipation than usual.  Winter storms are all right, but there’s nothing like the intensity and show of a good thunderstorm.  Everyone views storms in a different light.  Some are afraid of them, some grit their teeth and wait them out, and others embrace them.  I’ve even known a few who try to ignore them as if they weren’t happening.
My passion for thunderstorms stems from watching them as a kid curled up next to my Mom.  She’d gather us kids onto the couch to watch the storm out the large living room window.  We’d ohh and ahh at the lightning streaks and flashing clouds, counts the seconds until the thunderous clap of thunder would rattle the windows, and marvel at the wind whipping the rain down sideways.  Nighttime shows with the lights off were always the most exciting.  She never vocalized why she watched or encouraged us to watch with her.  In a practical sense, storms must have been easier to handle with five children if they were viewed as an adventure and not something to be afraid of.   
Mom was a very optimistic woman. Storms came and things got dark, but inevitably, the sunshine always followed.   Based on her outlook on life, I’ve made my own assumptions about the lessons she wanted me to get from storm watching.   Storms of all types, natural and otherwise, are an inevitable part of my life. I should recognize the beauty in their power, and not be afraid.  There are steps I can take to create a safe haven to wait them out, and I should be prepared to take care of any damage they leave behind.  Most important, they are a part of life I cannot control.  Control, even when I was small, was something I understood. 
I’m not the optimist my mother was.  I tend to be more pragmatic, more controlling, and more often than not look for what might go wrong rather than what is going right.  Storms come into my life just like everyone else’s.  Storms of Mother Nature, but more often, the storms of everyday life.  Marriage, a child, job stress, financial issues, hectic schedules…the list is different for everyone, but we all have them.  And just as different is how we handle them.  Some are afraid, some grit their teeth and wait them out, some ignore them, and others embrace them.
I try to handle my life storms like thunderstorms.  Although some make me tremble, when I sit back and view them separate from myself, I’m often able to recognize something positive in their power, accept the parts I can’t control, and wait for the rest to pass in a safe haven that I’m responsible for creating.  The storm comes, the calm follows, and I make it through.  It’s up to me to find appreciation in it and to deal with whatever it leaves behind. 
When my son was little, and a storm woke him, we’d curl up on the couch and watch it together.  Later, with the deep slumber that comes to teenagers, he slept through them.  Sometimes though, I still woke him.  We watched together.  I wasn’t looking for him to learn anything; we just enjoyed each other’s company and the spectacular show. 
I don’t think mom intended for storm watching to be a mechanism for me to work through the ebb and flow of my life. However, it is one of the many lessons she taught, intentionally or not, that I often rely on.  We don’t get the opportunity to watch storms together now, yet she’s with me with each one that I face nevertheless.   

13 comments:

  1. Very effective how you took this childhood memory and made it into a metaphor for life in general. The transition is nice and works naturall, not at all forcing the point. Lovely, lovely post.

    As for me, to this day I'm afraid of storms in the dark; I need the lights on.

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    1. Thank you Sandra. There is the rare storm that scares me, but most often I do love them.

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  2. I like your comparison between storms and your life. We rarely get any big storms here, and more often than not it's sheet lightning rather than forked lightning, so not as interesting to watch!

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    1. We get some beautiful ones for sure!

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  3. I've always loved listening to storms. I find them exciting. Also the chemical exchange that takes place during storms is what makes our atmosphere breathable. Ie., without storms, we'd all suffocate.


    Catch My Words
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. I've heard abou the chemical exchange but haven't researched it. That would be interesting!

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  4. I can enjoy a good storm if it's away from me some, when the lightening is hitting something and the thunder booms immediately, I'm just a wee bit freaked! I do not like being without power and that has happened far too often this spring already. I have a generator out in the garage that needs a switch and we can't lift it into the truck, so it just sits there ... waiting. *sigh*
    great post. ♥

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    1. Too bad you can't get someone to just come in and fix the switch. However, the charge to just "pull in the driveway" is usually more than the repair job!

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  5. Beautiful post! I loved watching storms also. It was exciting to count between the lightening and the clap of thunder. Now, my younger son is obsessed with weather....the more extreme the better. I love your idea of tying them to storms of life. I might just borrow that for him. Thanks!

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    1. Your welcome. She definately made it an exciting type of game or like we we in on the "storm secret" because we were sharing it!

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  6. There's so much beauty and wisdom here! I've always loved storms and still do. The life ones, not as much, but they are part of the natural ebb and flow.

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    1. Why thank you! The life ones are tougher to take (and most often I'm glad I don't have the audience on the couch watching me handle them!)

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  7. Love watching storms in the dark, with a warm blanket wrapped around me and some cinnamon toast. That's my memory of watching with my mother, as a child.

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