Glorious thundershowers, stormy weather!


When the sky turns dark above our surrounding mountains and some of them start to disappear in the clouds, we can be sure hazardous weather is being born, way up in the sky. A storm is brewing, an average thirty minutes’ spectacle awaits us.

Winds start gusting, lightning bolts decorate the sky and the thunder rumbles through the air, a severe thunderstorm is making its way to us. The time of the year to run outside, happily dance in the rain and count the number of seconds to have a clue where exactly the storm is playing its spectacular show. By the way, I never knew you had to divide the number by five to have the exact distance, but the counting is always fun to do.

Children’s delight or fright, always amazes me. Seeing their puzzled mind working, wondering why on earth the lightning beats the thunder in every performance. How to tell them that light travels faster than sound?

Recently more and more, nature surprises us by adding an extra special touch, what becomes heavy… will fall: hail. Want to know how I weathered a storm, keep on reading!

One expects to arrive safely when taking a plane.  But last month, I took a plane, while boarding, a little hurricane-like hailstorm destroyed the radar and put water in every instrument in the cockpit. I must say that experience made me feel extremely guilty for every moment I haven’t cherished life. Fifteen of us were just on the plane and heavens opened. Out of nowhere in the middle of a sunny day (guess who was wearing flip flops), all hell broke lose. Buckets of rain pouring down, wind howling, mighty nature itself, had to put a cherry on the top: a hailstorm of hell! Airplane doors immediately closed, people were not allowed to board anymore. The last people boarding, entered the plane shivering and completely and utterly soaked. One of the people with me on board (Marianne Foerster) filmed this video:

I’m not the “afraid type” but I can assure you standing on the tarmac, feeling the plane move and dance in the storm, tilting and sliding, one buckles up! Later (already 2am) we were even transferred to a hotel, after two failed attempts of “let’s fly away’. It was only the next day, we could finally leave at 1pm, that most of us realized how lucky we had been. If that storm had attacked the plane a quarter of an hour later in mid air… radar not working anymore, none of the control panels functioning, they were just flooded… well I guess there wouldn’t have been much left to write anymore, at least not by me!

That’s when you feel tiny, small and above all, grateful to land. This time I mocked nobody applauding the pilot when landing, I just felt blessed to still be alive, respectfully aware of the forces of nature. I enjoyed the solidarity of the stranded group, families, mothers with children, people on their own, all nourished with humor, politeness and patience, humans at their best, individuals becoming a group.

I am still a bit taken by this exposure of nature’s power, a bit more humble, soaked with a feeling of gratitude of still being alive and ok. See, I always thought I was ready “to go”, done that, been there, satisfied and at peace with that thought, but no… somewhere deep down in you, pops up that tiny, but very strong emotion: “ I want to survive this”. It swirls and spirals as strong inside you, as the storm outside the plane does.
I love the rain and thunderstorms, the dark sky, the silence before the storm. But this hail invasion was so violent and destructive, it felt like a personal attack, a conquering, unwanted quest from powers beyond you and me. Spikey, hatred balls of ice were thrown at us, with a vengeance.

Then I think: step by step, day by day, little moments count. No matter how small: a kind word, an empathic gesture that warms the heart… treasure it, let it fill you up, you’ll fly away on secured wings above clear heavens, with a happy sigh!

Flying through life


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