Saturday, August 22, 2009

Astraphobia: The Angels Are Bowling

Otherwise known as thunderstorms, but the first explanation was to calm us kids down. It sure didn’t work with me. I didn’t care if, as someone put it, “the really loud ones are strikes, the bumping or short ones are spares, and the really long low rumbles are gutter balls.” I was scared silly up into my teen years.

I’ve heard that the sight of a fast, bright light may trigger some kind of reaction. Exactly what kind, I’m not sure. Maybe for some people the reaction is what the nursing homes call “Code Brown” (not for me) or “Code Yellow” (still not for me). I was just flat-out scared.

Sometimes, even now, I think the close hits will vaporize me and I’ll be shaking hands with St. Peter and asking what my chances are of getting through the Pearly Gates. Those are the close hits and, yes, they do bother me. Stuff I see further away, nah; I enjoy the show and count the seconds to estimate the distance.

When I was much younger, it was Panicville: Any lightning at all, no matter how far, even heat lightning, would scare every cell in my body. As long as I didn’t see it, all was fine. But any sighting, even out of the corner of my supposedly-hidden eye, was the end of my confidence that God was watching out for me.

I don’t know anyone who was struck, never saw a house that was hit, and had no reason for my fear. I’ve long been over it.


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