The sky was on fire. Lightning danced across the dark horizon like a shimmering lake of eels. They seemed to be swimming towards us. It was beautiful! Trees began swaying. The tornado sirens across the city spun to life and began screaming their warning of approaching doom. In the distance, exploding power lines and erupting transformers illuminated row after row of trees bowing all the way to the ground as the event horizon of the storm made its way towards us. I was in awe.
The atmosphere was electric and full of an eerie green light that gave way to the howling wind. Its roar turned into chords. It reminded me of an approaching train at the Metrolink station. Leaves and branches began pouring into the house like a pack of dogs chasing a racoon. I desperately hung onto the door. Soon, the wind nearly pushed me to the ground. Then I heard a voice. “Dad, what are you doing?! Shut the door!”
I confess, I can be curious to a fault. Last week we were in Tulsa, Oklahoma, visiting family. News hit of a devastating thunderstorm with 100 mph wind coming our direction. I had to see it firsthand. So, of course I opened the door. Eventually after the wise admonition from my daughters, I managed to get it closed and we secured ourselves with all the necessities stored away in the safe room.
It was dark. The wind and sirens continued for another half hour as the front of the storm crashed against the house. It creaked and shuddered with the booming thunder and pounding rain. After a while, the brunt of the storm moved through and left us with a peaceful heavy rain. Power was out. The only light came from everyone’s phones and the strobing lightning outside. For the next three days, the city would be without power. Trees covered the streets. Power poles were bent and broken to bits like toothpicks. Cellular towers were down and the internet was offline.
What a vacation! My family generally doesn’t like to go camping, so camping came to us. Traffic lights were out and grocery and gas stations were closed. We had to go back to the basics. I panicked for a while, but then I figured out how to make cowboy coffee.
Life is unexpected, terrifying and wonderful. You never know what adventure awaits. Be ready for it. Dare to take a look! Be curious and listen to the voice of wisdom. Which in my case, was the voice of my daughters.