It’s one thing when you’re sitting at home watching the weatherman track the tornadoes so you know exactly what to expect. It’s quite another thing when you’re out and about with no idea where they are and whether or not you might be driving right into the path of one.
Today was a beautiful day…sunny and hot.
I was finishing a yoga class with pranayama—deep relaxation and breathing practice—when the sky turned gray…then an eerie green…then black.
Relax, I told myself. Breathe. But then the wind started to howl. Rain hammered down. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder cracked overhead. Breathe. Relax.
And just that quickly it passed. A light shower and a gentle breeze greeted me when I left the studio. I headed for home, about a twenty-mile drive…but before I drove six blocks, another storm struck in all its fury. Wind. Rain. Hail. Lightning.Thunder. It turned as dark as night. I pulled into a parking lot and waited for it to pass, my car shaking and shuddering in the wind. It was one behemoth of a storm…a testimony to Mother Nature’s power and fury. And it wasn’t even a tornado…just a storm.
But it was enough to frighten me. Enough to worry me. Enough to humble me before all those who have survived an actual tornado. Never before has a storm frightened me. In fact, I rather enjoy a good storm, be it thunder and lightning, rain, or snow. But now I have a better understanding of what people face when the sirens warn of an approaching tornado. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
When the rain let up, I was able to drive home…dodging debris and downed trees along the way. I found my house intact and my dogs shaken but otherwise unscathed…unlike so many who lost family and friends, their homes, and all of their belongings…everything that was safe and familiar and comfortable to them…in the storms this week.
My heart has always ached for them…but now it really hurts.