I love thunderstorms. As a kid, I’d sit on our front porch and watch the clouds open up and the rain pound the ground. I was fascinated (still am) by the drill and flash of lightning and the force of the wind. The sheer power of a storm was something to marvel at. There was a particular smell that to this day, I associate with a good old fashion thunderstorm. It is like no other smell that I can compare it to. As I recall, my mom was not too enamored with me outside during a thunderstorm, especially when lightning was present and in retrospect, she was probably right. I know that now as a parent, I make sure my kids are inside and safe.
I remember driving on an interstate in Wisconsin during one summer when the rain and storm was so intense, I had no visibility- none whatsoever. I couldn’t see. I didn’t know what, if anything, was in front of me. I didn’t know what, if anything, was behind me. I didn’t know where the side of the road was for me to pull off in order to stop and let the storm pass. I was stuck. There were three small children in the backseat, my wife in the front seat next to me, and I was behind the wheel. I didn’t know where to turn, if I should turn and I knew that if I made one misstep, my wife and kids could be harmed. I crept forward ever so slowly until I came to an overpass that provided brief shelter. It was crowded because many other drivers and a few drenched motorcyclists wanted the same protection. Somehow, we made room for one another.
Storms happen. Sometimes they come out of nowhere. Sometimes they are of our own creation. Sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of a storm created by someone else. At times, we see no apparent way out, blinded by the swirl of chaos around us. We can’t find a way forward. We can’t see a way out. Other times, there is that brief respite that gives a modicum of shelter and protection until it is safe to move forward once again. And always, there will be a time when it is safe to move forward. Always. It may take time. There is panic and fear. There is concern for yourself and for others, perhaps loved ones. But always, there will be a time when it is safe to move forward. Always. Something to think about . . .
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