I grew up in Michigan where we had biblical-type storms. The sky would turn green, and hail would pummel the roof. At first, it would be amusing , with 90 degree heat and little ice balls dancing on the driveway. Then suddenly, everything would stop. The wind. The rain. It was like God hit the off switch and the earth stopped rotating. That’s when you knew to head for the basement, because soon, the trees would bend sideways, and the patio furniture would find its way into someone else’s yard.
The Weather Channel was my talisman. I planned my week by the jet stream like some people use horoscopes.
After fifteen years of living in cities where tornadoes are non-existent, storms don’t bother me anymore. In fact, I kind of like them. I like the way lightening glows through the clouds, or how it forks the horizon. I like the veil of rain that falls from an approaching cloud, and the low rumble of thunder, the way you feel it as much as hear it. I love how the water makes the colors richer, more green and vibrant. I know when to look for rainbows. I don’t even know what cable number the Weather Channel is on.
So why the change?
I’ve learned that it can’t hurt me unless I do something really foolish like stand under a tree.
Writing can be frightening too. The crippling fear of the blank page, that anything I use to fill the space won’t be worthy. That I’ll submit something and get rejected time and time again. That I’ll write something that reader will hate, and say nasty things about my work. That reviewers will hate it even more. Like weather, I can’t control any of these things.
And they can’t hurt me, unless I do something foolish, like not write.
The best I can do is learn, practice and do my research and mitigate the risks. I can accept that all of those things I fear will inevitably happen at some point or another, and probably more than once. I have already made stupid mistakes borne from eagerness and ignorance. I will make more. But I will learn, because there is such beauty in words, and they make my life richer, more green and vibrant.
Spiders are still a problem. One thing at a time.
Words by J. B. Everett