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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Storm Attitudes

Every time I experience a thunderstorm, I think of my grandmothers. Though they were very different women, they each raised their families in the early part of the twentieth century. However, my maternal grandparents, Monnie and Gus, lived off the land and sea, fishing and farming, with uncertain economic outcome. My paternal grandparents, Ida and Sam, lived off Sam's income as engineer on the railway which was a steady, predictable income.

The women responded very differently to thunderstorms. My mother always spoke of her mother's deathly fear of such storms. With the first clap of thunder, Nan disappeared under a bed or cowered between the bed and dresser, not coming out until the storm was over. Nan trembled with fear at such times.

Dad's mother was the opposite. She embraced the display of nature, sitting by the window, reveling in the sights and sounds, watching for the streaks and flashes of light, delighting in the sound of the thunder, especially when directly overhead.

It is interesting that the woman whose livelihood relied on nature was more afraid of its display in such a storm. Was she enough in tune with nature and the dangers associated with it to have more then a healthy respect for it? The other grandmother, not as reliant on nature for her livelihood, was more taken with the beauty of an electrical storm and witnessing it. 

These two women had two very different reactions to the same display of nature. I wonder how each developed her storm attitude?

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