What is it about thunderstorms?

At the outset, there’s panic. “Quick, shut the windows! Is the umbrella down? Did you close the sunroof on the car?”

And then, following the whirlwind of orders and directives, there’s a peace. You feel it – it hangs heavy in the air – thick, damp, comforting and foreboding all at the same time. And then you hear it. A low, deep rumbling that comes from above, but you feel from within, and in seconds your heart and the thunder are beating together in unison.

You remember how someone once told you if you see a flash of lightening to, “quick, start counting – one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand…” BANG! The storm is only three miles away! But is it headed this way or crawling towards the distant horizon? The excitement and the fear are exhilarating.

Next come the raindrops. Slow, measured “plops” against the ground and window panes, gaining speed, peppering the pavement until the heavens can no longer withstand the weight of the water and they open the floodgates, allowing the earth to experience a cleansing deluge.

As the rain comes down it awakens the mind. Old memories scratch their way to the surface. The heart begins to swell. You’re helplessly drawn to the idea of covering yourself in a warm, soft blanket or lighting a fireplace – regardless of temperature. It’s one of those rare moments in life when the only and best thing to do is be still, breathe and appreciate.

As the raindrops diminish – the sound of plops growing further and further apart – there’s an overwhelming desire to head outdoors to investigate. Silence. Except for the low, rumbling sound of thunder in the far distance and an occasional “splash” of raindrops falling from the trees. Barefoot you walk the pavement, feeling the warm roughness beneath your feet, watching the steam gently rise from the sodden surface.

Rivers rush down the gutters on either side of the street and you’re powerless to the pull encouraging you to send a stick-boat on an unknown and endless journey, and so you do…

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