Natural Wonders

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Short Stories | Comments Off on Natural Wonders

My ten-year old grandson and I were sitting on the deck of my home waiting for a summer rain to start. The deck faces east and is protected by an overhang, and I have sat there often over the years as Michigan rainstorms have passed over. Having him with me as he eagerly awaited the coming storm made this storm special: I’m passing along a tradition I learned from my mother.

When I was ten-years old we were living in Sarasota, Florida, and whenever a big storm threatened Mom would call my younger sister and me to sit with her in the screened-in sunroom. She loved the way the thunder rolled across the sky followed by the sounds of the rain falling on the roof, and the green, tropical scents that drifted in from our yard.

Mom taught us to respect the power of the storm, but not to fear the sudden lightening and thunder that would shake the air. For her, these were religious moments sent from God, and she would occasionally read passages from Psalms about storms and power of God to keep us safe.

For me, it was enough to be in the midst of power of wind, rain, and lightening, feeling a shiver of excitement tinged with fear in the presence of the awesome (in the original meaning of the word) forces of nature. Mom, my sister, and me, joined by love and family, were experiencing the same acts of nature and having the same primal reactions, yet having different responses.

I looked at my grandson as I remembered those times, seven decades and four generations ago. There is so much wonder in the world, and so much to wonder about. When I think about all the lives that have blended together over the years of my existence; the children of children; the courses of so many separate lives that might have been altered by making different choices, I understand that perhaps the greatest wonder of all is sitting in the chair next to me playing a game on his iPod, watching the rain, then turning to me and saying, “Grandpa.”