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Watching A Storm Soothes The Soul

At my age one of the pleasures of life is watching a storm. You can see it grow to the north and west, it comes from over the ridge along Lake Erie, then it sweeps down Chautauqua Lake and consumes you until the last rumble of thunder is gone and the rain trickles to a drizzle.

I remember growing up on the farm. Our place was high on a hill, you could see the weather coming from the west, and we had a vista to the east after it had passed. You could see all the way to Frewsburg with the Allegheny hills in the background.

When I started flying, weather became an even more important part of my life. You always watched where the weather fronts were, where the high and low pressure systems met. You didn’t want to be flying into bad conditions, especially in the winter when the possibility of icing was around.

Now in my “senior years,” I have the luxury of just sitting back and watching the weather happen. If you are lucky, in the summer, you can be treated with a rainbow after it has all gone through.

The other day, I watched as a serious front came through. The trees battled the winds. On a normal day, the trees just bask in the sunshine and soak up the energy. But, in a storm, they have to fight or go down. It is not easy being a tree when the winds whip up to 30 or 40 mph. To describe a tree in a fight with the wind, the word “noble” comes to mind.

Of course, there are the usual mundane, human concerns. Are the eavestroughs working or are they plugged? Did I remember to close the windows where the rain comes in so that my wife will be happy?

Did I leave the car windows open?

But, all of this is swept away by the event itself. How can mother nature go from being 85 degrees to 70 degrees in about a half an hour? How do the trees seem to so consistently survive their battle with the wind? How do the flowers, so bent over from the rain, perk up with a new look and say “thank you” right after the storm is over?

I suppose it is all a part of living, of being connected, of knowing that there is something more important and bigger than you are. It is humbling. What if the power goes out and the refrigerator and lights won’t work? In truth, there is not much you can do but just sit back, observe and as the song says: “thank the stars for the roof that’s over you!” That, I guess, is enough at my age. It’s better than a video, a TV program or the latest serial on the internet.

The next time you have a chance–watch the weather go through! It soothes the soul.

Rolland Kidder is a Stow resident.

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