Thursday, April 22, 2010


It's Spring here, officially. I don't go by any calendar. I don't care what the date says. It doesn't matter when the temperature spikes or when the nights stop dipping below freezing with regularity. Spring is measured differently here. By the sky.

Spring began yesterday.

We had our first fully-fledged afternoon thunderstorm of the year. The first time we cleaned up all the backyard toys and made sure that the patio umbrella was closed completely and unplugged the computer. The first time the kids turned off all the lights in the house. Well, almost all of the lights. We can't sit completely in the dark and watch nature's light show. We must always have one light on, somewhere, just in case it gets too scary.

It always takes a few weeks to get the kids used to the weather around here once it starts. Aidan heard a plane flying overhead right after the sky darkened and immediately wondered if it was a siren. I humored the kid and stuck my head out the door, pointed to the sky and told him that it was just a plane. There would be no sirens today. Maybe another day. But not today.

It was the first time that AJ really saw lightning. Obviously, we had it last year and the year before, but this is the first time he's really seen it. Like, really seen it. The lightning wasn't so bad, but the thunder caught him a little off guard and he wasn't quite sure what to make of it. His sisters alternating between yelling "whoa!" and cowering under a blanket didn't help.

It took a while for them to settle last night. The storm got them all fired up. This is what draws people to chase storms. The adrenaline.

The powerful beauty of nature is overwhelming, and the first good thunderstorm of the year was a reminder. How it can amaze you and humble you all at the same time. Make you feel small and helpless, but awed simultaneously.

This storm gave me a gift last night.

It brought me all of my children sitting on my lap in a mostly darkened room, huddled beneath a window, asking questions and watching the skies above.

The storms are brewing. It is Spring.

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