Thunder feels like home.
I’m from the country, a little place that’s only marked by a single sign that you might see going in our out. (It says “Caviness.”) As a boy, one of my favorite things was watching the clouds outside my window during storms. And, let me tell you, we had some storms.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the storm activity in that area is unusually high. I’ve failed to find any record of this, but locals will tell you what I learned over the years: there’s an abundance of lightning in my home town.
I remember visiting home a few years ago and asking my dad why there was so much thunder. A crack every two seconds for more than half an hour is unusual, right? My dad laughed and said I’d been away too long.
On my vacation last year, the wife and I stayed in a train car that had been converted into a hotel room. (Sort of. I think it was a work in progress.) A metal train car. And there was a storm of epic proportions that evening that was really loud for those of us sleeping in a big tin can. Rain hit the walls of that train car like a million hammers falling on us, lightning lit up windows on every side, and thunder rattled the walls and shook the ground.
I slept like a baby.
During the recent string of Texas storms I had warm memories of home when I could hear the thunder growling as it approached, knowing it would end in a loud bang. I know it’s strange, but it makes me feel relaxed. I’ve fallen asleep in a hundred big, loud storms. Like a sailor who keeps steady legs during a squall, I’ve learned to relax to the sounds of rolling thunder and even sleep to it.
Of course, it doesn’t work that way for everyone else in my home. When there’s a whipcrack of thunder my wife is shocked out of bed, throwing off the covers and looking exactly like this:
Well, it’s probably more like this:
Or, more accurately:
My wife’s cat gets really scared. He sometimes flattens himself out in a corner, trying to get as low to the ground as possible. He won’t react to anything we say or do; he only whimpers. I’ve seen him stay that way, absolutely petrified, for hours after a storm.
Even I feel sorry for him. So would you.