This morning, I awoke to thunder and rain drumming insistently on the roof. I found myself in a state of comfort and well-being that surprised me slightly. I have always been dreadfully frightened of thunder storms. Ever since I was little, awakening to the crash and collision of sudden bursts of light with the sound of the sky breaking open sent me running to my parent’s room every time. Even into my young adult years, I have not found the solace and even joy that the majority of my loved ones find in the storm. I love a good rainstorm, it’s just the kind that comes with thunder that makes me nervous. Right before I came to Florida, I rode out a particularly nasty storm snuggled under a blanket with my dad, who was trying to provide some reassurance to both myself and a completely frightened dog (Galinda by name). We all rode out the storm in the dark, my dad speaking quietly about how he enjoys watching thunderstorms in the dark, the blinds wide open, observing the lightening and the rain. Florida is certainly not the place to live if one is frightened of thunderstorms, and I must admit that my first few made me jumpy. However, I started a brave new ritual. When I am in my apartment, and a thunderstorm begins to shake the sky, I make myself a cup of tea, open the blinds, snuggle into a blanket on the couch, and watch. Slowly, the nerves recede into the heat of my drink, and into the wonder of watching lightening dance. Awakening this morning to the storm, a state that usually causes me extreme discomfort, I caught myself smiling contentedly. I turned over in my bed, and just listened.