Friday, March 2, 2012

Storm Clouds

Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. For many, fear comes in the shape of dark clouds and with the sound of thunder. Thankfully I don't have a fear of storms (but believe me, I have plenty of others). Unfortunately for my friends with a fear of storms, today was a challenging day. We had the threat of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes all day and into the night.

I was substituting at the front desk of my son's elementary school, which is a busy place to be on a stormy day. The weather radio periodically sounded its ominous warning to update us about the storm's path. My computer screen flashed with the radar tracking the storm's movement. And my phone continually rang with concerned parents calling in hopes of an early dismissal.

At one point, when a tornado warning was issued for our area, the children filed out into the hallway to assume their tornado-drill position. They crouched silently against the concrete block walls and waited. Trust me, that's the quietest these 400 students had been all week. It was an eerie time, all waiting silently for the storm to either go around or pass over...but we had no idea which it would be.

This afternoon we were fortunate that the storms moved around us. The children returned to their classes, the noise resumed, and afternoon pick-up proceeded like every other day. However, for those who had been grappling with fears that run deep during the storm, their hearts echoed what one second grader told me after the drill. With a solemn face and a small voice, he peered over my desk and declared unhappily, "That was intense."

Yes, little friend, it was.

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