Warm Like a Storm

I sleep to the digitally enhanced sound of thunderstorms.

I love the strange comfort the rolling rumble brings, like a weighted blanket for an afternoon nap; but I haven’t heard it in its natural state for years as its growl doesn’t reach this far up north like it did in the sultry summers of my Southern childhood, where my long days of freedom are now puddles of memories.

I would gaze up in awe at the sudden darkness that would conquer the sunlight and break into a terrifying flash of light that prickled my skin and sang to my young, wild-ling soul. Just a few moments before I was running down the hills along our pond when winds whirled through the trees and whipped my long hair against my face yet swept looming stillness around me.

“‘S’gonna rain,” Nonny would call from her door. “Come on inside.”

A bowl of homemade chicken and dumplings would be waiting for me in her kitchen, bringing the joy and warmth of the hidden sunshine into her trailer. The wind and rain would knock against her kitchen window as the heavy drops slammed against the metal roof and set me in a drowsy haze.

Digital thunderstorms bring back the memory of the East Texas weather, but not of Nonny’s cooking nor of how the rain sang against her windows. The sounds from my playlist don’t bring about the same comfort the little girl had of being wrapped in her bed sheets as the night sky flashed and drummed around her. The memories of playing in the Texas rain with my best friend are fading as I age, but the memory of its warmth has stayed with me, like the smell of Crock-pot chicken at Nonny’s house.

The sounds from my tablet are invented, pixelated, and empty, yet I cannot sleep without them because I cannot sleep when it’s quiet. As a child I awoke, played, and slept in wild sounds: frogs croaking, coyotes howling, and thunder rolling. The sounds of modernism and suburbia are not wild, not like home.

I want to reacquaint myself with the raging, Southern skies.






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