I remember the moment I became afraid of thunderstorms. It's one of my earliest memories: my sister and I sitting backwards on the burnt orange sofa, watching a storm through the wide, bay window of our living room; lightning striking a tree, the earth shaking, a neighbor racing up the street with a garden hose in the downpour of rain, something I couldn't put together just then, that it wasn't just the tree burning but a house. For the rest of my childhood, I'd cower in the suffocating air under my blankets, no matter how many adults told me thunder was angels bowling in heaven, and couldn't hurt.
And I don't know the moment when I stopped being afraid, but that somewhere between adolescence and adulthood I began to find ominous skies more beautiful than blue. I no longer cowered at them, but chased after. The day I took this photo, I gave one backward glance at the darkening sky and turned my car around. For hours, I drove taking photos out the window, getting soaked to the bone, cut off repeatedly by flooded roads, worrying I’d flood my engine, and at the same time, feeling unexpectedly free from everyday anxieties. It is the threat of danger and the adrenaline of dodging it. The way those resounding claps of thunder can make you feel both infinitely small and a part of something of great magnitude, and the euphoria of the heavens suddenly breaking open in summer. .
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