I was terrified of thunder and lightning during the night when I was a child. It certainly made for long summers as I grew up in Florida. Storms during the day didn’t bother me as much. But the ones at night sent me shivering under the covers with fright. I often turned a closet light on to ease the fear and anxiety.
It was easy to fall asleep at night, especially after a long day of play time. But then *CRASH* *BOOM* *FLASH* and I would sit upright, eyes wide with fright trying to get my bearings. Every new flash brought out shadows I had never noticed.
What was that? What’s going on out there? I was terrified of the disaster the storm could bring, the damage it could do to my safe world. I was terrified of damage happening when I wasn’t looking because I thought somehow I could stop it if I could see it coming. Turning on the light or having the sun out made a difference to me.
Eventually I grew up and grew out of my fear. I can’t pinpoint exactly when or why. I think it just happened with age and maturity as I embraced life, growing comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You see, I eventually learned storms are good things. Yes, they can cause damage and catastrophe. They can be powerful like a mighty hurricane. Or they can also be a soft rain passing under the bright sun. But storms have purpose no matter how they show themselves to us.
A storm cleans out the dead in nature, the debris and junk that is stuck in place. Floodwaters can transport necessary nutrients to regions that don’t normally receive them or replenish groundwater for life existing away from the main water source. Floodwaters and storms can cause migration and positive changes to ecosystems. Storms give life and take life in nature just as they do in our lives.
My life has storms. Sometimes they are passing and only cause anxiety for a short time. Some cut deep in the heart bringing me to my knees with weeping. But then comes the day break when I can stand like a tree pruned of its dead branches, now rooted, cleansed, stronger with new life and growth. And if I’m lucky, I can someday provide nutrients to another.
These days a summer storm is one of my favorite things.
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Katie Daniels is a speech language pathologist in Florida, where she resides with her husband and their pup-child. She has dabbled in professional and personal writing over the years, but only recently began sharing her work with others. She is a proud Florida kid who enjoys meeting new people, seeing new places, and all things related to laughter, travel, faith, Disney, reading, and F.S.U. football. She is easily bribed with donuts or mac ‘n cheese.
She would love to connect on Instagram.