The rain pounded on the canvas roof — for an instant the room was bright as day, faded to night, and a crash of thunder followed. Whether it was the pounding rain or the thunder that woke me I could not say but I lay there and listened to something that was so much bigger than me.
Brightness fades to dark. One thousand and one, one thousand and two — CRASH.
Sometimes the thunder would sound like the crack of a giant whip and other times it simply rolled on, and on, and on. And as I played this game the rain continued pounding.
There was a moment when something primal escaped and I admit I felt fear — the idea of being caught outside in the dark and surrounded by something enormous and powerful; the only option was to stand your ground and face whatever was out there. When my daughter was little (and afraid of thunderstorms) we used to sit outside on the porch and watch the rain and lightning, and listen to the thunder crash around us. I would smile and tell her that when you hear the thunder it was god's way of saying that you hadn't been hit by the lightning. As I remember it, I found it funnier than she did.
I could not help but smile at the memory, pulled the covers up a little further, and listened to the rain pound as I fell back to sleep.
PS : I did spend a fair bit of time explaining to my daughter what to do if she was caught in a thunderstorm, that she shouldn't take shelter under a tree, and that lightening was the real concern — because I actually do know what causes the thunder.