Shelter From The Storm

Here in the South, spring ushers in our first tornado season.

“First?” you say.

“Yes,” says I. “First.”

Unlike Tornado Alley that lies in the Midwest and has one tornado season, we here in Dixie Alley are blessed with two. We have the traditional spring tornado season of March, April, and May; then in fall, November, and December. In Tornado Alley, it’s usually too cold in the fall for tornadoes to form, but owing to the South’s lower latitude, we have more low pressure systems that breed tornado-producing storms.

The majority of our twisters are mindful of the two seasons in Dixie Alley, but there are renegades out there that can strike any month, any week, any day of the year.

Aren’t we blessed?

Earlier today as thunderstorms rumbled over my house in the city, my mind slipped back in time, way back, to my childhood country home and a stormy night that stands out in my memory…

When I was small, my daddy worked far from home in California as a lumberjack. He was gone a good portion of the year, returning in the winter for a few months before going back to make the money he couldn’t make here. That left my mama to take care of a bunch of kids, livestock, and everything else on our farm/ranch. At the time, Mama’s aged mother and uncle lived with us. She had her hands full.

I was such a wee thing, I don’t remember many details of the turbulent night Mama took us all to The Bluff. I do remember being scared, though, and I suppose Mama was too or she wouldn’t have attempted to herd a bunch of kids, and her mother and uncle up the steep, wooded hillside behind our house to the only place she thought might shelter us: The Bluff.

That’s how my siblings and I refer to it—The Bluff, a proper noun. That rocky crag holds a prominent place in my childhood, a place where we all played, and later on our children played, and some great grandchildren as well.

But I digress…

There’s an area of The Bluff where it forms an overhang, and as added protection, a half-buried, humongous rock lies in front of the overhang with just enough room between the rock and bluff for a handful of bodies. That’s where Mama took us.

I remember an upward trek, a dark night and flashes of lightning, bobbing beams from a flashlight(s), labored breathing. And yes, I remember being scared. But I also remember feeling that I would be okay because I was with Mama.

And isn’t that what we all want, to feel safe? Not just from tornadoes but from everything in life that can harm us.

Mama was my shelter from the storm. Long ago, I learned to deal with standing outside in the wind and rain with not even a flimsy umbrella to protect me. But I still miss the security, the feeling of safety, the knowledge that everything would be all right, my mother’s mere presence provided.



©️2019 KT Workman

10 thoughts on “Shelter From The Storm

  1. What a fantastic memory you have unfolded here. Mine is very different, but holds a similar connection. When the weather reports got bad, and the sky got dark with moving clouds, and thunder rumbled for long moments of time, my Mother always lit a few candles. They were left lit until the sky brightened and the threat had passed. I now live alone in a five room apartment. And yes, I have candles in several of them and small flash lights as well. It is more than comforting to know our mothers continue to protect us even after they are gone. Thanks for sharing your memory.

    Elizabeth
    https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/hello/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Experience truly is the best teacher. The life lessons we learn through experience far outweigh the ones we merely learn from books. And many, like yours, have the added emotional attachment to solidify them within us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. My mother wasn’t perfect, but she loved me and cared for me the best she knew how. I don’t know what I learned from that experience other than the eventual realization that when one gets older, one only has themself they can count on.

      Liked by 2 people

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