There’s something about thunder that brings out some sort of primal fear in me. My rational brain knows what it is, and that it is not going to kill me or that the end of the world isn’t happening and all of that, but there is something unknown about thunder that short-circuits all rationality and triggers a response that I can only describe as primal.
I wonder sometimes if the time of day has an influence on my response to thunder, and sat here in my office this afternoon (1.30pm) with thunder rolling all around me, I can honestly say that day time thunder brings out a different level of fear. Night time thunder can be somewhat comforting, especially if I can hear it moving away and I’ve got over that initial “what was that?!” response, but day time thunder takes primal fear to another level. There is something unnatural about the way the sky darkens ahead of the storm and that too sparks a deep-seated response somewhere down in my belly.
I know thunder is just nature doing its thing, just as I know that solar eclipses are just nature too, but there’s something otherworldly in them that makes me forget this world of computers and gadgets, entertainment and leisure time etc, taking me back to before a time humanity can remember. I can imagine our forebears around 200,000 years ago sitting in their family and community groups, huddled under skins and cloths made from natural fibres, protecting their young around small fires designed to keep the thunder demons away, and when I’m alone and the thunder rolls, I feel the same sort of fear that they probably did.
Perhaps I’ve got an overactive imagination, but when I talk about the things that link us together throughout time, the fear of thunder (and lightning) is one of the truths that unite us.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sat here a quivering wreck in the thunder, because once I’ve got over the initial response, I do actually quite like the sound and sights of a good thunder storm. I revel in the forces of nature that govern our planet, and I thank God for his creation, and though there may be consequences later (lightning bolts striking trees and houses, flooded drains and rivers etc), nature is a wonderful thing and I love that feeling of being absolutely tiny in the great tapestry of it all.
But still…those first rumbles in the distance make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up… and those big thunderclaps overhead are another level altogether.
Do you enjoy the thunder, or does it scare you too? Do you get that strange feeling that something unknown and unknowable is going on? Does it make you feel small and insignificant? Or does it make you feel something else? Drop me a line and let me know.
Grace and (I mean this…) PEACE to you,