Turning Point in a Storm (Scintilla Project – Day 7)

summer storm

There was a storm coming.  It could have been a tornado.  We wouldn’t know until it came, so we had to be prepared.  When you live in the Midwest you just know to take those warnings seriously and get to a safe place. I had the kids come to the basement with me, hoping this one would blow over soon.

For many years I would get the same gut wrenching fear when a tornado warning was announced.  Didn’t matter if the sky was calm, if there were tornadoes around or the potential for one, I felt a deep, real fear.  We never lost our home to the damaging winds, never were physically harmed during a storm.  Yet I think collectively, in my community, there were memories of those very things, of loss of property and even lives. 

So we took the warnings seriously.

That fearful little girl in me stayed around until later in my adult life, bringing some intense fear to the surface and throwing me into panic mode at times.  When this storm was coming my son and daughter were old enough that they understood the dangers and reacted appropriately. 

But I wanted to be protected myself.  As I lashed out verbally to their dad about his own actions of trying to be ready to help others during this storm, I suddenly heard what I was saying, and heard my own fears.  

Then I looked around me.

What was I teaching my kids? Who was going to be brave for them, as my parents had tried to be for me and my siblings?  Who would keep a level head and know what to do if the storm actually hit our home?

This little moment in time became a turning point.  I had to let that fear go.  I had to release that childish need to be protected and comforted, and instead try to be that source of strength and courage for these two amazing young lives.

Letting go of that fear did not mean being lazy about storm warnings. It meant taking them seriously as before, giving a lot of respect to the natural forces around us, and remembering that I knew what to do.  I was armed with the right tools to protect my children as much as was in my power. 

And the courage to guide them through whatever lay ahead.

4 Comments

  1. wow, deborah, that is powerful!
    i'm touched by the turning of your heart
    as you chose to see through a different lense
    your choices
    and you made one of those slight course corrections
    that make huge, huge changes down the road
    for ourselves and our loved ones.
    that really moves me.
    it speaks to some changes i can see
    to make.
    thanks for this wonderful share,
    Jennifer

  2. I know that fear that's inherited from the community memory. I lived in Ohio for five years and was very apprehensive whenever I heard the words "tornado watch." I think it was only twice that the watch escalated to a warning with sirens that sent me seeking shelter in a basement. Nothing came of it either time, but I still remember the heart-pounding fear as I grabbed my dog and cat and headed into the cellar to pray and wait for what-may-come. I'm thankful I didn't have small children to worry about. It's not always easy to remember that you're supposed to be a grownup.

  3. It's hard sometimes to always be the adult in any given situation. We each have that little child inside, subject to old fears and terrors. Your writing is a powerful reminder to do the internal work to let them go.

  4. Your image is powerful and so are your words! I can well remember huddled in the hall, sirens going off, and me trying to be brave for my kids! We can do amazing things for our children!

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