As a kid, I used to love a good hurricane. In the 90s it seemed like Southeastern NC got a Category 2-4 every season. Hurricanes in my family meant securing our homes, and bunkering down with grandma and grandpa to ride out the storm. This meant; snacks whenever I wanted, no real bedtime (because the town shut down), spending all day every day (for 3-4 days) with my family, watching movies (assuming the power wasn’t out), playing upstairs in the attic (I realize how unsafe this is now), filling the tubs and sinks with water, and playing cards or board games with my family. If we were lucky enough for the power to go out (yes, I realize this is not a ‘lucky’ thing), then that meant stories with grandma and grandpa, listening to the hand crank radio for weather updates, moving food from the fridge to the cooler, building a fort in the living room to protect us (my grandpa can tie a mean knot), and singing hymns or quoting scripture with grandma. During the eye of the storm we were allowed to go play outside. Most of the time this included a video camera, and playing weather man/woman updating everyone on the storm. These are some of my favorite memories from being a kid. I used to hope and pray for a hurricane. I never wanted them to be scary, I just wanted an excuse to spend a few random days with my family.
Now, as an “adult” (I use that term loosely), I’m not so sure I care for hurricanes. My hip and knees have been hurting for over a week, thanks to the change in temperature and rain. I can’t sit, stand, or lay down comfortably for more than 10-15minutes. I know the damage that hurricanes can have, whether they make landfall or not. Sure, as a kid we lost shingles, and we replaced them with grandpa less than a week later. Trees went down sometimes, but people never got hurt. Places flooded, but homes and cars were never destroyed, and lives were never lost. I mean, they were, but my family protected me from that. I still look out the window every 10minutes like I did as a child. It’s still mostly from wonder and amazement, I have always found hurricanes and forces of nature fascinating, but on some level I check out the window or door from fear. Not necessarily from fear of the water levels rising too high, or from losing power, or something being ruined, although if this rain keeps up all of that is certainly an option. I think I just have more respect for the elements, and now I fully understand what they are capable of.
I miss the days of not being afraid of the elements, however grateful I am for my respect for them. I miss the days of feeling protected by my family when I was afraid of the thunderstorm from a hurricane. I miss grandpa telling me stories during howling winds, so that I wouldn’t be so afraid. I miss playing in the attic, and opening the window, and not realizing just how dangerous that is in a category 4 hurricane that has made landfall 15 minutes from your home. Maybe this is part of growing up. Making memories you want to hold on to so tightly for the days of being an adult. I’ve always said I never cared much for adulthood. I did childhood much better. But what I have learned in adulthood is how to be grateful. Grateful for the respect I have for nature, grateful for my family to give me memories that make me miss them and my childhood so much. Grateful for my safe home, and God’s provision in our lives so we have never had to worry about our home being destroyed by a flood.
Precious memories, how they linger
How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness, of the midnight,
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.