My great-grandmother, a tiny bird of a woman who was nevertheless made of surviving-the-war strength, was afraid of thunder. Because she did not want her children to shake with fear as she did during thunderstorms, even from the deep sleep of night she took their hands and led them to the windows to watch the lightning slash the sky.
“Watch,” she would tell them. “Isn’t is glorious?” Swallowing the fear in her throat, she smiled for her children so they would grow up braver than she.
Was it her legacy that led me outside during storms? Perhaps. Even as a small child I never felt fear when the dark clouds closed over the sky. I reveled in the electrical air, watched for the next lightning flash to crack into life, curled on the old musty porch swing and soaked in the rush & cool & currents & rumble. I loved the lull when it was done. Loved inhaling the wet, cool air, the gritty smell of rain-washed cement after heat.