Once Upon my Life: The Thunderstorm

 

*note* this will be a new series of features written from stories from my life if anyone has any desire to read that.

 

It is so strange when we get that feeling. The feeling that is called up from our past by some random event. Sometimes it is a seeing a picture or reading something that had been forgotten. For me it is all about the setting. A moment that seems to be constructed just in order to make you remember. You never know when it is going to sneak up on you but it is unmistakable like a whisper in your ear. Sometimes it is like being an archeologist in your own mind. Dusting off the subconscious and trying to make sense of the hieroglyphics on the wall. And I love the feeling; it is the most pleasurable nostalgia.

I was sitting on our back patio the other night. The day had been unusually warm for the spring we’ve had so far and my clothes reflected that. The sun had just disappeared over the horizon and the world had taken on that deep blue of dusk. And with it came the cooling, like some deep respite from the heat of the day. Behind it, like a Samaritan, was a gentle breeze. The wind felt like a wave. It was almost sentient in the way it ran over me. It was a reminder. It was the feeling of the calm before a summer storm, where you can feel it building up. The way the air fills with life and electricity. And in an instant I was back, years ago, an unaware time traveler.

My parents had an old church pew on their front porch. It looked ancient like it was constructed and used in a settler’s house of worship. Sitting on the pew gave you a view (at least the view of a child) of the expansive field that was bordered with trees and the creek beyond. The years when the farmer grew wheat were my favorites. Before wheat gets golden it is a deep green, looking almost like perfect and gigantic blades of grass.

In the years before the horrid orange glow of flood lights, the evenings were virginal and only what belonged was there. To sit on that pew and look out into the field was like staring into a time capsule of the world of a different age.  The best and the memory relived were the nights where the storms would roll in, and it all started with that breeze.

You would be standing by the window and the wind would creep in and you knew what was on it’s way. We would turn out the lights in the house and head out to the porch. Before the storm was almost as good. I loved to watch the wind blow through the wheat field. The field was transformed to an ocean with the wind creating a wave-like motion across the way. The sound of it was like a constant lull of rustling; as each stalk brushed the one beside it.

Then came the storm. I would sit and listen as the rumbling would first be muffled at a distance. The term ‘rolling thunder’ is perfect because it is exactly what it feels like. It rolls in and out, the earth trembles beneath it. We would sit in comfortable silence (with the occasional gasp) watching the lightning blaze through the sky and then hold tight for the explosion of the thunder, the best firework show there could possibly be.  

Even now as an adult, I’m still struck by thunderstorms. I will sit by the window and watch and listen. I’ll wait for that wind, and I’ll close my eyes. And I’m there, once again.

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18 thoughts on “Once Upon my Life: The Thunderstorm

  1. I would love to read stories about your life. I am still amazed by thunder storms. I would sit on the porch swing in the country and watch my little life roll by.

  2. Whenever I hear thunder it takes me back to being a kid and to calm my fear, mum telling me to count between the flash of lightning and the rumble to work out how far away the storm was – I could count it going away.

    I still do it!

    Nice one, Kloipy.

    • Thanks Wolf! I was as a young kid scared of the storms, I thought they were Giants going bowling, but then the older I got the more I was entranced by them. I loved the power of them and on more than one occasion probably pressed my luck by going out in them

  3. Many people look forward to summer because of the warmth and the long hours of sunlight. Sure, I love that too, there’s a certain kind of tranquility and pleasure you feel when having a cigarette outside a café, people-watching as they sweat their way down the street. But there is nothing that compares to a summer thunder-storm. I grew up on a farm so I know just what it feels like, the moment before the storm you were describing, and I miss it. I need more thunder. Great post, you’re a skilled writer.

    • As you can tell, I wholeheartedly agree. It’s just such powerful and still awe-inspiring feeling. Thank you for reading and for the comment

  4. Most people look forward to summer because of the heat and the long hours of sunlight which will – or so they think – make their fake-tans look more real. Sure, there’s a certain kind of tranquility and pleasure you can only feel when sipping on something cool, smoking a cigarette, soaking up sun through your skin as you watch people sweat their way down busy streets. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing that compares to a summer thunder-storm. I grew up on a farm so I know exactly that feeling you described, of the electricity in the air before a thunder-storm arrives, how the birds fell silents and the insects picked up and the wind was almost tangible. I haven’t had the luck of a storm as yet this summer, but I know it will come, and I look forward to it like nothing else. Great post, you’re a skilled writer.

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