Stillness Before a Storm; Essay

Stillness Precedes Storm

Can stillness in the night be a trick of nature? The rumbling of a motorcycle shatters the area, as a cyclist drives by, probably wondering why it is so still. Normally rustling trees now stand tall like soldiers preparing for battle, and the fearful birds are long gone to where they might find peace. But where is there peace? Some hide in nests, birdhouses and trees, but others head for safety high in the clouds. Birds possess an acute sense of awareness of nature becoming volatile.

Time Seems to Stand Still

A rabbit scampers across the road and proceeds to run faster and faster. Blades of grass do not move, for there is no wind to disturb them in their lawns that look like they feel like silk to admiring passers by. The sky is a gray-green color, but it is so dark it is hard to see any patterns of clouds or make any sense of the sky. The streets are empty in the neighborhood except for a few brave men who fearlessly leave their houses to peruse the horizon .The odor of dampness permeates the air, making it difficult to breathe. Women do not venture outside at this time, as they are somewhat paralyzed by the stillness and their own fear. This is characteristic of the stillness before a storm. This scenario might remind them of the stillness of life, when a bad thing happens and time stands still.

Tall Still Trees

Tall trees
Tall trees

Wind Precedes a Storm

Windstorm
Windstorm

Lightning Flashes - Thunder Roars

Soon it begins to rain, and it sounds like someone is tapping on the window. No one is actually tapping, as it is beginning to hail, followed by the roar of thunder and flashes of lightning. There is a hissing sound and the sound of a train passing in an area where there are no trains. The sirens screech in the darkness of the night. People begin to prepare, and fear wells up in the weak while others gather strength. Will this tornado-like storm come or will the low funnel cloud not reach the ground in this area but pass on to another area or start rising skyward?

Tornado Sounds Like Train

Train Passing By
Train Passing By

Storms Are Mysteries of Life

It is always anybody’s guess, but guessing is not done here. This is time for preparation and action. If it passes, then life might go back to normal, if there is such a thing as normal. Residents do their best, keenly aware that man cannot change nature. They hope for some sort of serenity, but know that a storm is one of the mysteries of life.

The Happy Writer Through the Good and the Bad

Smiley Person
Smiley Person

A storm began during a restaurant meeting, and I later found myself in the midst of a traffic jam with emergency vehicles everywhere. I had called home but was unaware a tornado occurred.less than a mile from my house My area was not the same for over a year.

Living through these tragedies and others has been traumatic, but a learning experience. I learned the hard way about the stillness before a storm. I shall never forget it,. May those who read this essay never have to live through the terror of a severe storm.




Inspiration for Essay

Why did I write this essay? I am fascinated with what occurs before storms and all the scenarios that both frighten and teach residents about storms.

I came to Oklahoma from Buffalo, New York where we had horrific snow storms, so different from the Oklahoma storms. I have spent time here running across the street in the rain and the wind to get to a neighbor's storm cellar. Once, I was at a department store, holed up, involuntarily, in a storeroom. where I called home during a storm and then drove in the midst of fallen branches to get to my frightened family. Friends have lost their homes, but my family has been lucky.

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Comments 26 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 21 months ago from southern USA

Audrey, thank you for sharing of your personal experiences of such terrible storms. We have so many tornadoes here and our state has seen so much devastation. You are so right about the stillness and quiet before the storm hits, so eerie.

I am thankful you and your family are safe after going through such.

God bless you all.

Up +++ tweeting, pinning and sharing


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months ago from sunny Florida

I get it. I have been in monsoons and hurricanes and on the outskirts of twisters...felt the uncertainty, the electricity in the air that came to those who were not as fortunate...

But with hurricanes we hunkered down like everyone else in the years when we had no generators and the roads were blocked from huge felled trees.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 21 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Faith - You are so good to read my hubs, and you identify with this particular one. Storms are here to stay, unfortunately, and they seem to get worse for some areas of the nation. I don't know what state you are from, but your tornadoes sound really bad. So many people at HP have had problems with storms. Let us pray for this issue to lessen and for better weather and luck for all of us. Blessings, Audrey


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 21 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Patricia - I love the new profile picture you have, and hope the health problems are stabilized for your family. Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment on my hub. You had your share of storms, so sure are lucky to have come through them. Thanks for the angels on the way to us, and blessings to you and your family. Peace and light. Audrey


juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 21 months ago from Denver, Colorado

I enjoyed reading your essay. Thanks for sharing!


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 21 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Juneaukid - Thanks for reading my essay and for your kind comments. I did not think many essays existed on this site, and would like to find out. Number of words seemed important. I plan to visit your profile and check out your hubs. It was nice of you so stop by. Blessings, Audrey


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 20 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Great description of the stillness and the nature prior to the storms and tornadoes. The various thoughts, fears and courageously facing the circumstances- it is very terrible a situation for people living at such environments. You have greatly described all this with your experiences and writing talent.

Voted up and awesome.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 20 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Venka - I loved writing this essay, and appreciate your stopping by to comment. I remember you from a question of mine you answered. Thanks for your compliments. You have been involved in storms, according to your comment, and they do make people fearful. I stopped by your profile and will read some hubs. Blessings, Audrey


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 19 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Audrey, I grew up in Indiana where we have our share of tornadoes. I also lived in Oklahoma (Shawnee) for a year. I have experienced the things you have written about, firsthand. There is a stillness, and an anxiety before a big storm. I enjoyed your thoughts on the matter. Very good writing.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 19 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thank you Cam for your kind comments. It is fun to put thoughts about a storm in writing. We just had a storm this evening but no tornado watch. Tornadoes are scary to my family and friends. When a family member is absent, you worry about their safety. I am glad you chose to read this selection, as is it is right up your alley. I am sorry you also have to deal with tornadoes, and hope you enjoyed living in this area. Blessings, Audrey


annart profile image

annart 19 months ago from SW England

Great description of that stillness. I've felt it with ordinary storms in Britain too but fortunately have never had to experience the wrath of a tornado or any other severe storm as those you have in the US.

Your words convey the holding or gathering of breath that nature takes before it gives vent to its destruction. Well-penned; I felt the apprehension.

For some reason I haven't had notification of your hubs. I came over to look at your page and realised that I'm already following you so I don't understand why I don't receive notice of your work. I'll keep an eye out!

Ann


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 19 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Ann - How great that you stopped by to read my essay and to add your kind remarks. Your compliments mean a lot to me, as you have such credibility as a writer. I love to read your writing challenges and the participation that results. It is a bad time of year for us and tornadoes, as this state has been hard hit. Last year, we had a sparse time, just saving up for this year. I guess. You are fortunate to not have severe storms. Have a great day. Blessings, Audrey


annart profile image

annart 19 months ago from SW England

Well, I'm thankful we have relatively peaceful weather and I hope you and yours keep safe. I'll be praying it doesn't get too hard for you.

Ann


Vellur profile image

Vellur 18 months ago from Dubai

Reading this I realize how the calm before the storm is. It must be really scary to get caught in such situations. The calm before the storm strikes terror in the heart, nature can be unforgiving.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 18 months ago from sunny Florida

That stillness can cause hairs to stand up straight and tall on the back of my neck and even on my arms. The telltale clouds often add more hints to me that a storm is a brewing. And many times they are violent and fierce but end as quickly as that stillness that suddenly swept across the land.

And it is quite a contrast between the winter storms and the storms that form in the warmer months..I live in Florida now where the fierce storms are much much different from the winter blizzards of South Dakota.

Well done.... shared and voted up+++

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 18 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Vellur The calm before the storm can be scary, as you say. Then the rain and thunder begin. In Oklahoma right now, we have been in a bad flood stage for days. People need flood insurance. Our weather in the US seems to change now with bad winters also. I see you are from Dubai, and I don't know how the weather is in that area. I hope you are safe. Thank you for stopping by and reading and commenting. have a good evening. Blessings, Audrey


Ginna 17 months ago

Thanks Glenn and Marian. This prayer is a keeepr!I'm grateful that you have been advising me on my health and wellness.Yesterday, after the big turkey dinner hosted by Fred's brother and sister-in-law, several of us went on a walk with the dogs to see the Gratitude Tree. There are several public dirt-paths thru their neighborhood and someone started hanging gratitude notes on the tree at the intersection of 2 paths and lots of people added their own notes and read the others hanging there. Thought of you.Susan


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 17 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Ginna - Thanks for stopping by to read my hub. The story you told about the Gratitude Tree is very interesting. We have many blessings, and need to be thankful. Blessings, Audrey


Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 17 months ago from Shimla, India

There is a certain sense of honesty in all the posts by you, i've read till now. Was good going through them. Will be reading more on the weekend. Cheers :)


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 17 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Akriti - You are so kind to read my hubs today and use such lovely words. You make me blush. It is so important to our writing to be ourselves and show our beliefs and passion for the subject. I have visited your profile and want to read your hubs. Your comments are full of honesty also. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day. Blessings, Audrey


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 15 months ago

I often write about storms and find them so symbolic of life and about me as a man . Yet , that calm that can sometimes only BE found in nature , what would we do without nature ? Thank you for this great hub and be safe out there !.......Ed


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 15 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

The stillness before a storm is ironically one of the most tense and anticipatory moments one can experience. Waiting for the wind to begin roaring or for that sudden clap of thunder are moments when fear and expectation can become palpable. Anything or anyone moving during these moments seems to be an intruder. I've been through a few tornadoes and some horrific thunder storms, and I'm happy to have never lost a home or a family member to one of these natural catastrophes. I appreciate the reminder of what the stillness before the storm means.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 15 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Ed - Good to see you again on my site. The quiet before a storm when nothing moves is full of anticipation and fear. You remember the past when the same feelings occurred. Sometimes you reach out to someone for comfort. Your feeling about it reminding you of who you are and of the symbolism of life and nature is so compelling. Thanks for sharing thoughts. Blessings, Audrey


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 15 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Cam - So good to see you commenting on stillness. If anything moves, as you say, it is like being an intruder. We are both fortunate to never have lost anyone or anything in a storm. It is so good to see you at my site, you with your great writing gift. May it be with you forever. Blessings, Audrey


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 13 months ago from Minnesota

You captured what it is like in the stillness before a storm so well. Thankfully, the storms around my area are normally thunder and lightening storms. Its rare to have a tornado.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 11 months ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Color Sorry I missed your comment. Thank you so much for your kind comments. You are lucky not to have tornadoes, but know it is cold there. Hope your winter is not too bad. Have a great holiday and come visit me again. Blessings, Audrey

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