Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thunderstorms

Tears such as angels weep. ~John Milton

When the Princess had began walking, she noticed a thunderstorm for the first time and seemed a bit concerned. I carried her out onto the front porch while it was raining hard with lightning flashing and thunder crashing. I realized that I did not really have a plan, but I did not want to tell her the story my mother had told me, that it was the angels bowling--not that convincing when my mother looked quite frightened herself. (Besides, somehow the bowling thing took away the beauty of the thunderstorm and my idealistic imaginings of angels.)

My grandfather once took me out on his front porch and had me watch a storm; they have intrigued me ever since. So, I told the Princess to look for the flash of light and then we would count until the thunder came. When the thunder rumbled, I jiggled her up and down laughingly saying "Boom-da-boom-da-boom!" She loved it and she learned that day the further away the storm was the longer it took between seeing the lightning and hearing the boom-da-booms.

Actually, she loved it so much that for the next few years whenever she heard thunder she ran as fast as she could to the window to watch the storm and began counting so she could announce if it was close or far away. The child was so fascinated that she actually would have her hands on the window as if glued and squeal in delight the more violent the storm would be. I could even put her to bed at the height of a storm and she would go to sleep without a problem, once she got too tired to peek outside her window.

One evening I was talking to my sister on the phone while there was a storm where she lived and her daughter, around ten or eleven years old at the time, asked if she could come to bed with her. I explained to my sister what I had done with the Princess, thinking it might be helpful. My sister confessed that she was terrified of storms herself, even would hide under the covers still just like she did as child, and she believed she had taught this fear to her daughter, just as our mother had taught that fear to us.

It is natural to be afraid of loud noises and things over which we have no control, certainly storms qualify, but I prefer teaching my daughter to not be afraid, even of the very things I fear, because those fears are simply in the mind. Although I tried to hide it, the Princess now knows I have a fear of heights, but she also has seen me go out on a wooden lookout protruding from the sheer side of a mountain to enjoy the view of the entire valley below. I have learned there is less fear when there is familiarity, so the more I do this kind of thing during my life the less I fear it and the more she will see there is nothing to fear but fear itself. We can chose to live within the limitations of our fears or chose to let them go and be free. I want to teach the Princess she has a choice when faced with a fear and that she can choose to rest in the Lord.

Since her younger years, the Princess has been very curious about weather and clouds. She is a bit more concerned about storms, because she is now aware of the damage they can do. She understands much about the science behind them, even so the Princess still likes one of my fanciful explanations: Raindrops are from the angels when they are so happy that they cannot contain it and those tears of happiness rain on the earth to make things grow.

My Lord, let my daughter, and I as well, learn to rest in You and walk without fear amidst all kinds of storms.

7 comments:

  1. I love this quote:

    Learning to perform on stage is really learning to live comfortably with fear. ..Isaac Ster

    Learning to live with fear is an essential life skill.

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  2. I love storms, love them so much. As a younger child we would always sit with the lights out and watch the lightening show! The clap of thunder wow somethimes its so gentle sometimes so loud. Rain is good for the earth, even if it causes flooding, after a flood everything greens up and the land produces. The only thing I'm not to sure about is wind, I don't cope to well with strong wind because all I see from that is destruction.

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  3. Ganeida, I love the quote! Oddly, acting on stage is easy for me. Being *myself* in speaking, singing, or playing an instrument...now that is difficult! I thank the Lord for Valerian at those times.

    Lobstar, a flood is what happens when too many angels have been too happy in one place for too long. ;)

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  4. You realize I have no imagination at all don't you! Imaginery friends? ? ? ? The effort is great, happy tears :-D ha ha animated emoticons their fun....

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  5. LobStar, you may one day have a child with an imagination--it just seems to be hidden within your genes. What then will you do?

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  6. What she always does with the inexplixable ~ pass it along to mummy! lol. Can't think what she's going to do when I'm no longer round to field all the things she finds inexplicable.

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  7. ummm shrugs, cross that path when I get to it :D

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.