We've had a week of thunderstorms out in these parts. The thunderstorms in the Midwest are are a beautiful thing to behold. Though it hasn't happened yet, late spring usually means tornado season and I have to say, I have a love for tornadoes.
I don't mean any disrespect to those who tornadoes brought tragedy and despair, I mean only I was raised with them and they are deeply rooted in my memories. I can feel them coming on my skin, my body knows it deep in my bones. Folks with nerve damage will get a warning pain on the tips of their fingers before one arrives. The air has a quality that can only be felt to be recognized and the sky turns into shades it saves only for these occasions. As a child it filled me with excitement and wonder because I was raised in a world where human beings control all, but when a tornado comes through they can only run for cover and pray for the best. Everything outside takes on a special kind of silence, as though every living creature is bowing it's respect. It is terrifying, electrifying, awe-inspiring. I would run outside and dare myself how long I could stay out there while the sirens blared. I loved how so very tiny I felt, watching that sky take on its own force, it's own personality. And if the tornadoes didn't form, the environment set for them served as much as a reminder that they didn't this time, but next time may be different.
Two years ago I was traveling back to the Midwest after living for a spell in the Green Mountains. I still wasn't sure how I felt about coming back. It was the peak of summer and as soon as I drove into that familiar wall of humidity I felt like turning right back around. No, I wasn't ready for this. Give me back my clear rivers and streams and waterfalls. Give me back highways without billboards and co ops in every little town. It was emotional and I was broody but as soon as I crossed the state line of my place of birth, the sky loomed low and massive and let loose a thunderstorm of epic proportions. Flatland prairies and corn fields all around me whipped in the wind while clouds grew so large I swore I could of held my hand out and touched it without even reaching. I drove on, windows rolled down and tears streamed down my face as the thunder shook my jeep and pelted me with rain. I hadn't realized till then just how much I missed these storms. I need them, ya know? They are apart of my DNA, they comfort my soul, they ground me and as much as they scare me, I can feel a big smile spread across my face upon their arrival. At this moment there was no other way that could have better said to me, "Hey sister, you're home now." Once the storm passed over, the most amazing sunset I have ever witnessed spread like a blanket across the sky. Violets, magentas, and gold painted all around me while I drove towards a rainbow that stretched across the horizon.
This week we will step outside and see the sky rolling in and say, "Kind of looks like a tornado(meaning clouds before a tornado)," but then to respond, "yeah, but it doesn't feel it." Because you can FEEL it, people.
**pic is of me in the wind as a kid. No, I have no idea what west side 106 is but clearly it's something extremely cool