I guess it makes sense. The longer I’m back here in Michigan, the more opportunities I have to feel nostalgic. Last weekend was major nostalgia. The way the sky looked as the storm was moving across the bay towards our house: green and swirled with clouds. The silence that happens. Eerie and serene at the same time.
And then it starts.
A flash of lightening ripping across the window. I hold my breath and wait for it….the crash of thunder letting us know that we’ll soon be encapsulated by this fierce storm. The wind whipping through the trees, making the leaves look like little dancers. And so it was last weekend, over and over, several separate but equally powerful thunder storms.
When I was a kid, I had a love hate relationship with these storms. That probably has something to do with the fact that my Dad let me watch the movie Poltergeist multiple times. After that movie, I threw my creepy (yet today would be very cool to have) clown doll down into our unfinished basement (aka, a very scary place for a little kid). It had these snaps on its arms and legs so you could twist it into a pretzel of sorts. It’s strange to think about now. Why would you put snaps on a clown’s arms and legs anyway?
I remember these storms most acutely during summertime. My sister and I would finally be done with school for the year and so would Mom (she taught elementary school for 41 years!). I’m sure Mom was looking forward to sleeping in a bit and not getting disturbed by kids (sorry, Mom). So each beginning of summer my sister and I ruined it for her. One time it was because of a hair cutting debaucle (I thought my sister would look cute with short hair cut my moi using plastic scissors—I was right, sort of) early in the morning but most other times it was because a storm was coming through. Once I heard that initial crack of thunder or saw some lightening, I’d be in bed with Mom before another peep from the storm. My sister would come too and we’d be on either side of Mom. The window was open and you could feel the heat and humidity of that early summer day. And the smell of rain was just delicious.
But with every thunder boom, I jumped (and I’m still very jumpy today—I guess I’ve always been wound up a little too tight, eh?). To soothe us, my Mom would tell us the reason for the storm: The gods up in the sky had decided to bowl. The thunder was the ball rolling down the lane and the lightening was a strike! Aha! It made so much sense to my 7 year-old mind. There must be a heavenly bowling league. That’s why there are so many storms. And maybe the season is just from the end of spring to the end of summer. The gods were on summer vacation too! I always pictured Zeus up on a throne waiting for his turn (he always got a strike!).
With every thunder storm here, I’ve thought about this bowling league. And I guess it doesn’t hurt to conjure up the warmth of my Mom during these intense storms. That’s right: I’m a 36 year-old married woman who still wants her mommy sometimes! But it sure as hell helped me get through the movie Take Shelter. It was pretty creepy to watch a movie about storms while a real storm surged outside. It was like watching a movie in an IMAX theatre. I’m just glad we weren’t watching Poltergeist—I think that movie would still freak me out today.