Spring thunderstorms always take me back to my nostalgic days as a kid in Brooklyn. We would always stay with my grandmother in Prospect Heights. She was on the second floor of a walk up and it always felt as if she owned the whole building, even with more than four other tenants. Looking back, our days spent in Brooklyn with her were the best of days. Most mornings we would run to the corner store where we knew the deli guy all too well. My uncle would chase us back upstairs to eat and get dressed for the day. It felt as if the sun was shinning just for us every morning. After breakfast the simple pleasure of grabbing a rope and playing double dutch on the sidewalk called to us like a moth to a flame. Most days it would be just the three of us; my sister, my cousin and I jumping rope. Other times, my mother or aunts would join in for a bit. Neighbors would pass along and our games would stop, then continue. The rope would swiftly hit the cement pushing up dirt and joy all in one hit.
After a good few rounds of jump ins and jump outs and roping rhymes that could potentially predict our first kiss, or the first letter of our future boyfriend’s name, the clouds would start to form, hiding the sun. We would continue to play. Even as the roars captivated our neighborhood and sent the kids from down the block running in, we would play.Then the rain, the good smelling rain. That was our sign to run in. Soaked, itchy, and diagnosed with a touch of the sillies we would huddle in a room. Hiding from the storms, the storms we weren’t scared of, but according to my grandmother we should’ve been. She would turn off all the lights and speak with such determination and faithfulness about God and storms. She explained the thunderstorms in such a way that never got old, in the sweetest kind of voice.
It’s 3 pm and the skies have darkened in Brooklyn. The windows are open, the sky is roaring and a spring thunderstorm is among us city dwellers. My life partner is sitting beside me with a shadow of facial hair- his blue eyes piercing his computer screen as he edits away, and my girl, sound asleep in her room-unaware of the glorious chaos outside.
I am so thankful for the familiar sounds, smells, and feelings I receive from a good spring thunderstorm. I’d like to think that mother nature is giving me a big hug letting me know she hears me, hears my aches, and well to say it simply, throwing me a bone. You need this.. you need this memory, this familiarity.
Take me back.
all photos taken when the storm cleared up.