The storm rages. The thunder rolls, bounces off the mountains, and returns like a boomerang. The ground is moving. My usual porch writing spot does not feel safe, so I withdraw into the house. The walls tremble and shake at the vibrations. Pictures rattle. Even as a lover of thunderstorms, I am on edge with the intimacy of this storm. When they get this close, my stomach ties itself into knots with the memory of the destruction one lightning strike can do. In minutes, life as I know it can be undone. Burned up. Flooded. Damaged beyond repair.
I push those thoughts away. They lead nowhere.
Instead, I settle in by the window to watch the storm. The trees blow and appear to be dancing to some unheard beat. The rain is steadily creating puddles in the grass so that after the storm, the birds can more easily retrieve the worms. The thunder rolls away after a few anxious moments and the wind dies down momentarily. The rain is steadfast as it slides off the trees which creates the hissing and pattering sounds I dearly love. The trees are partially dressed, just changing into their green gowns for spring. The leaves unfurl and turn their faces up to receive the gift of water from the heavens. They open themselves up fully as they drink. I can almost see them expanding as I watch. The newborn leaves, which appear to be so fragile, are in actuality quite strong. They play in the storm as if it were a gentle shower. I would never know from watching them there was any danger at all. I want to be like the baby leaves; open to receive gifts from heaven provided to me in the midst of the tempest and trusting the storm will not destroy me.
The next round of thunder arrives to taunt me and laugh at my silly notion that there can be peace in the storm. It rumbles and shakes. It knows the power all its loudness has over my heart. The rain picks up into a downpour and with the deluge comes the wind, back to display its power with the swirling and bending of trees. The lights flicker as if to bow to the pressure of apprehension which is rising once again. The storm is forcing itself on the mountains, creating a battle-like volley of sound. What I realize is the back and forth noise isn’t back and forth at all, it is all coming from one source. The echo is what makes it feel as if there is a battle. In reality, there is no war, only thunder puffing itself up to be heard. The infant leaves know this. They are not afraid of the bully. The birds know it too, and they wait for the thunder to blow itself out. It seems to me that all of nature knows and patiently waits for a new day. Am I the only creature who does not know the truth, which is that storms come and go in cycles? Or do I simply forget that after the destruction comes resurrection? Always.
Lessons in the storm.