Last night I found myself in unsolicited media silence due to the normal-of-late storm rolling through. The satellite was knocked flat for a bit so I decided to drink it in. Actually, in truth it was more of a drawing-me-in, not a decision I made. As I sat there with Otis nearby – both of us engulfed in the big ol’-swallow-me-whole couch that belongs to my roommate- my twisty soul quieted. And I listened. The thunder & wind & the tinny of the rain on the chimney took me back.
My country lullaby.
I was a young girl again, curled up with a blanket – knees to my chest in the corner crook of the couch in the mobile home where I grew up. It was coming down in sheets & man, there is nothing quite like the sound of rain on a tin roof. I’m not sure where Mom & Dad were, but I know they were home. I was the only one of their brood there at that time though. The thunder claps came through the thin walls like a jet engine blast & I jumped every single time they rolled. And let me tell you, when you live in a mobile home each bad storm pulls out a prayer, even if you aren’t a believer in it. It is what it is.
I could feel the peace from way back then last night. The same exact peace. Of quiet – pure unadulterated quiet. Quiet in my inside-parts.
I grew up the youngest of 6 in a home that rarely had much of that. So to have it forced upon me in a storm, it was welcomed. Even as a child I saw the value. I remember feeling sheltered & warm & loved – in that hush when we’d lose power. The absence of electricity coursing through the house took front seat to all the normal plugged-in-bred clamor. It was like the storm knocked everything else loose for a while too. No yelling, no stumbling, no clanging or banging, no slamming or crying. Just peace. And the magnified quiet in between the swellings of the storm. I became more aware of the sound of my own breathing & pondered things much much bigger than me – like where does thunder come from & how can something invisible like the wind sway my home? And why do the peace & quiets in between feel so wonderful – when I usually had to always be busy being busy? And I would sit. And wait. And listen.
When the thunder would begin to subside & the winds would die down I knew it was almost over. A mixture of relief and disappointment would settle over me. Relief that danger was averted for what surely must be the 1000th time & disappointment that soon the hum of power would ripple its way back through the house & all would be normal again. Normal can be quite overrated.
Some people despise thunderstorms. Not ma’am, no sir – not me. I love them. In fact I love anything else nature-born that quiets my soul. Like the roar of the ocean, the rippled-still of a pond, the majesty of a mountain range or sitting down at the base of a rushing waterfall in them-there hills. For a time, in those sweet spots I lose the grip of anxieties – cares & grief & what-to-dos next. I just am. Nothing else matters.
Thank you Lord. For your love – for your free gifts for us all to enjoy. And I pray we do.
Here’s to country lullabies & majesties & memories – may we have them in spades.
And love & encounters of silence of the soul kind y’all,