Who's Afraid of a Thunderstorm?
As I (that would be Deb) writes this, the eastern part of the United States is experiencing treacherously high temperatures and miserable humidity. The thermometer reads 104 degrees with a heat index of 115. Not only that, there’s a storm coming over the western mountain threatening 60-mile-per-hour winds and quarter-sized hail. The trees are beginning to sway, and we have no reason to doubt the National Weather Service this time with the severe thunderstorm warnings they’ve issued. The air is tingling with the ozone that precedes a big storm, and we’re starting to think about where we last had that flashlight. Although I may have to shut down the computer and move away from the window before we’re done here, I’m not in a hurry to miss the display.
As a child, my mother lived in fear of thunderstorms. Her own mother was terrified of them, so whenever one approached, she’d gather her eight children and make them all stay on her bed with her until the storm passed. My mother, being among the oldest, took this as a very bad sign and decided if her mother was this frightened, then there must be a real reason for panic. Once she reached adulthood and learned the real dynamics of a thunderstorm she felt a little cheated. She vowed that none of her children would grow up fearing a natural phenomenon that, while certainly potentially dangerous, was also, with proper preparation, a spectacular show. At the first sign of a storm, she’d load us all into the back of her huge Buick and drive us a few blocks away to watch the storm on the ocean.
My brothers and I have many happy memories of lightning flashing into the sea and waves crashing in tune to the thunder. With the surf wild and the sky spewing fury, we felt at the heart of the universe. So, sure, don’t stand under a tree, go out on the golf course, or continue to swim, when you see that storm is rising. Gain shelter to ensure your safety. But, at the same time, don’t allow fear to spoil the joy of experiencing the power and majesty that come from safely watching the storm rise, roll, and remove itself in its own sweet time. We can’t so easily get to the ocean to watch it anymore, but we still treasure the memories of those times spent safely sharing the spectacle, safe, warm, and happy. Plus, we all still enjoy the storm from exactly where we happen to sit. Thanks, Mom.
Copyright 2011, UTA Industry Watch
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