At 5:45, I woke to flashes of lightning – one right after the other, it seemed.
With earplugs crammed deeply in my ears I heard no thunder, but I also felt no vibration from its rumble.
Somewhat confused, I rose from bed and staggered into the living area to unplug my laptop.
Daughter was in the kitchen and leaned around the corner to see what I was up to.
“It’s lightning,” I groaned, as I unplugged my computer and wondered about Hubby’s across the desk from me.
Daughter spoke and I pointed to my plugged ears.
She spoke loudly and distinctly, “It’s been lightning since 3 a.m. – why worry about it now?”
Lightning since 3 a.m.? Really?
“Has it been thundering, too?” I asked.
“What do you think? Doesn’t lightning and thunder usually go together?” Daughter replied.
In my stupor, I wasn’t sure what I thought and couldn’t remember if this much lightning was commonly accompanied by a thunderous symphony
I looked at my now unplugged computer, shrugged, then back to bed I headed for 45 minutes more of flickering sleep as lightning continued to flash.
Turning my face away from the window, I sighed and sleep claimed me.
At 6:30, I was again in the living area of our house. My computer was plugged in and Daughter was still in the kitchen.
My ears were no longer plugged and so I conversed with Daughter on a deeper level.
“Did the wind blow much when it was storming?” I asked.
“I don’t know…I wasn’t out in it.” Daughter replied.
“Did it rain hard?” I inquired.
“Do you want to see what passed through us beginning about 3 a.m.?” Daughter asked.
Daughter pulled up the radar on her phone and I squinted hard to focus on the tiny screen and wished I’d picked up my glasses as I passed my computer desk.
“Wow!” I uttered.
“Yeah,” she responded.
Then she asked, “Think I will have any trouble getting to work?”
I poured a cup of coffee and inhaled the strong skunky aroma, willing my brain to visually map out her drive to work. I came across two areas and mentioned them.
She named a third.
“Drive slow and be careful. That should do it,” she said.
“Yep,” I agreed.
And, that was the end of our deep morning discussion.
I pulled up NOAA weather online and checked our forecast and present conditions. 3 Flash Flood warnings were listed for us. I quickly scrolled through to see if anything on our side of town was of concern.
2 to 4 inches of rain had fallen as lightning flashed.
I thought of the garden and wondered if the 12 ft tall sunflowers were still standing. Their flower heads, just forming, were not yet heavy enough to bow them low. The okra and tomato plants, now over-my-head tall should be fine, too, as long as there was no wind.
Storming since 3 a.m. – and I slept through most of it. That’s unusual for me.
I wondered how Mom fared with the weather radio positioned in her bedroom, not 2 feet from her pillow. The monotonic monotonous alerts would be enough to create a storm within me…no need to worry about the one without!
And, I wondered if her repaired carport sprouted any leaks and if the gutter worked as it should.
The deep conversation I had with Daughter this morning as rain fell and lightning flashed stirred my mind (or was it the coffee?).
I can’t help but wonder what I miss and miss out on because
- my eyes are closed to what’s visible
- my ears are plugged and not open
- my mind is otherwise occupied and not engaged
- my opinions are formed without all the facts
- my back is turned, shutting out enlightenment
- my attitude is: ignore, wait it out, hope it goes away
- my choice is to pull the cover over my head and hide, instead of a offering a welcoming embrace
For over 3 hours, an event happened right here at my house and I was unaware. And, when I became aware I chose to turn my back on it, pull the cover over my head, and shut out the event and the world around me.
No, thanks. I didn’t care to be en-lightning-ed.
I didn’t care to get involved. It didn’t concern me. It wasn’t my problem. Nothing I could do anyway. I had better things to do. Let someone else worry about it. I’ll deal with it later.
And, I’m not just talking about the three hour storm, here. I’m talking about life and the living of it. We can embrace it and squeeze out everything it has to offer. Or, we can slip quietly through, giving nothing and receiving nothing in return.
We could all use a little en-lightning that pushes us to let go of our passivity and encourages active participation in the world around us.
Step into the storm and experience life as you’ve never experienced it before.