Last night the heavens opened amid flashes of light and claps of thunder. It is the first big, summer thunderstorm in this area. Many others have happened throughout the province over the past few months. We have experienced heavy rain and wind but mostly the thunder was no louder than a hungry stomach.
The storm brought back memories of my childhood. While I snuggled down in my bed listening to the cacophony of rain and thunder and watching the room light up with each lightning bolt I was catapulted back to an old farmhouse. When an electrical storm approached my parents would wake us from our sound sleep and tell us to dress. We would be instructed to sit in the middle of the living-room well away from electrical outlets and all windows were closed to prevent drafts.
We would sit like that until the storm moved on and then would be allowed to return to bed. Blessedly as children sleep came quickly.
For years I have feared thunderstorms and when high wind accompanies the storm I would hold my breath in fear of what might happen. When the ‘old guy’ and I lived in the country we built our dream house in the woods. Wind became a bigger fear for me and our life there was not without incident.
Shortly after moving in rain and wind arrived as we slept. Why do these things seem to like to interfere with my sleep? I heard a thump outside the window and decided that something had blown over outside. Now my head was beneath the window and when I woke in the morning I peeked out to see what a blown over and much to my surprise I was greeted with the branches of a large tree tickling the side of the house. The tree had fallen parallel to the house. It was a narrow escape and the only good thing was that we now had additional fire wood.
A second wind storm twisted the top off a majestic pine tree and deposited it across our backyard. Once again firewood was harvested. It seems that wind is as dangerous as the feared thunderstorms of my childhood.
For health reasons we sold our beloved home in the woods and moved into a sub-division. The small flowering crab tree in the backyard the small red maple in the front-yard do not pose a threat other than they might be destroyed by the wind but definitely will not damage our home.
Now, back to last night’s storm I feel that I may have overcome some of my fears and only cringed a couple of times when the storm seemed extra close. I listened to the rumble of thunder move away and sighed thinking it was over but like a large jungle cat on the prowl the storm would turn back and roar loader making its presence known once again.
I may have overcome the desire to get out of bed, dress and sit out the storm but some fears linger on. I wonder if my parents had any idea of how traumatic it all was for their children.