Sunday, February 10, 2013
I have a great passion and a reserved fear for storms.
I grew up outside; seasonal elements sanctified my playground. Snapshots of memorable storms in my life come easily: camping without tent poles in a hailstorm; heat lightning streaking sunny skies and thunder ripping through dry, thick forests; biking during an electrical storm with the sudden realization that my bike was an attractive conduit; high altitude afternoon ridge walks with the onset of instant thunderheads; climbing during spontaneous electrical storms, and blizzards and wind storms.
Extreme weather excites me.
It is chaotic, and unpredictable.
It requires attention. Sometimes we flee, or scatter, often it isolates us, stops us. A gratifying storm challenges our egos, our lifestyles. A mighty storm can reek of roiling Gods or vexed Goddesses and Almighty vindication. Storms shift the instinct for survival from a vagueness to the present. Vile weather bonds strangers and neighbors. A good storm lends us adversity and demands our greater strength and ingenuity.
I have made a point in my parenting style, to not always have things perfect. I hope my kids have been caught in enough rain storms, and that we played in plenty of mud puddles. I hope that we have hiked a sufficient amount of sloppy trails, and that our buckle down moments have been enough to calm panic, and teach rational thinking.
I love to play those what-if games at the dinner table. Recently, I made my kids watch 127 Hours; the true story where Aron Ralston gets pinned by a boulder and cuts off his arm to live. My kids now call before venturing, they let me know where they are headed. And they keep an eye on the skies. It is always good to have a reverence for things unpredictable.