I was trying to explain to my youngster how childhood fears turn into grownup thrills. At his age, I would freak out whenever tornado warnings scrolled across the bottom of the screen as the sky turned dark and the civil defense siren spinned atop the red pole mounted on the roof of the police station. If I was at Grandma’s place in a storm, I’d carry the barometer around her house with me, monitoring the gauge for sudden pressure drops that would give me the advantage to know that my fears were well placed in the coming doom. Fear. No sleep.
25+ years later and I’ve changed over to the dark (sky) side. I love a good storm. The mention of the phrase some may be severe within the text of the forecast makes my stomach tickle. Back when I worked in radio and had the chance to say those words out loud – some storms may be severe – it was more exciting than proclaiming the good news of school closings during a blizzard. I want storms, strong and powerful.
On the other hand, I don’t want storms. Storms affect schedules, destroy property, threaten lives. I know some people who ran through their house to take cover in the coat closet, only to open the door and find most of the surrounding house gone. Not good. Wouldn’t want that for anyone.
It’s a two-sided thing, really. I don’t know what I want. Right now, I look outside and see grey clouds headed east, and I want a powerful storm and a powerless storm. And this is just one of several personal contradictions.
Storms relieve tension. Strong storms display destructive power. Storms bring rain. Strong storms bring flat.
Deep down, I’m still the scared kid looking at the red on the screen, afraid of what’s coming but too excited to look away.