There’s something about nature at her theatrical best that makes me want to give her a standing ovation. And the storm tonight is truly mythological. I don’t think it’s a monsoon, because I thought monsoons were just rain and this storm has thunder–real thunder, the kind that cracks the sky and sounds like the roar alone could tear up mountains. My little cottage is shimmying like a belly dancer as flashes of lightening surge through the rooms.
Yet, here in a city that needs no excuse for power outages, the power is still on. I have lights, a computer and am washing my clothes. We’ll see how long this lasts.
I love dramatic weather. One of the things I always missed about Ohio were the summer thunderstorms. When I would visit my parents, I used to feel cheated if there wasn’t at least one good storm while I was there.
This storm reminds me of my father who has been gone 10 years now. A storm would be a good metaphor for him. Unpredictable. Angry. That was my dad. He was also generous with a very big heart, but I didn’t appreciate that till long after I had left home.
My memories of childhood are of fear. My father wasn’t physically violent, but there’s a violence of the soul that can also leave wounds and I remember breaking glass. Plates shattered against the wall. Loud, mocking words. A temper that could explode at the least provocation, or sometimes none at all. Every day he came home from work and kicked my dog across the room, sending her yelping under the couch. I never understood why each day she ran with wagging tail to greet him. Then he would mix a drink and disappear into himself.
I’m sure he loved me, but I always felt he was slightly disappointed that I wasn’t a boy. Although, I preferred the outdoors to inside, it was to climb trees and create my own private fantasy world, not to hunt or fish. Worms on hooks made me squirm. When he tried to teach me to shoot, the kick knocked me on my ass. My one redeeming quality seemed to be that I was good with boats and much of my childhood memories are of navigating the green channels of Lake Cable.
And then he got old and he got sick. The man who had so terrified me shrank and diminished and eventually died. I began to see the man with lost dreams, who didn’t care that I was girl. Who loved my sons, who loved my brother and sister, but could never really express it. And so I forgave and learned to live my life without the ghost of an angry father haunting my footsteps.