I looked at the weather forecast yesterday morning, and my heart sank. They were predicting 2 to 3 inches of rain and severe thunderstorms overnight and into Thursday morning. I hate thunderstorms, and that much rain means flooding around the barn and the house. Here I was, facing the first of these fairly frequent weather dramas all alone.
My fears are not unfounded. When we moved into this house ten years ago, I was with my daughter and my mom on a summer afternoon when lightening struck. It was like a bomb going off. A pine tree caught on fire in the pasture. The fence post exploded. It blew out fans, the microwave, TVs, stereos, computers, as the shock waves shot through our home like a giant spider web of static electricity. Later, I learned that the temperature inside a lightening bolt can be 50,000 degrees F, hotter than the surface of the sun.
When I was a kid, growing up in Illinois, tornadoes and thunderstorms were common hazards. The sirens went off at the firehouse to warn us, and my mom would make us go down to the basement. Sometimes, the risk was so great that we would sleep down there. I got up for school one morning when I was about eight years old, and as I walked down the hall to the kitchen, the big elm tree outside the window in front of me was split in half by a bolt of lightening.
Soon after that, I began having “The Dream”, and I’ve had it ever since, over and over. It is always the same: I walk into the kitchen in the home where I grew up, look out the window over the sink. The sky is a pea soup green, like it looks before a tornado hits. The sun is a big orange ball. Suddenly, the sun explodes like the world has ended. And I wake up, heart pounding, afraid to go back to sleep.
So, fearing the worst once again, I resolved that I would do everything possible yesterday to prepare for the upcoming storm. I cleaned the drainage ditches around the barn, added wood pellets to the stalls in case there was flooding. I asked my neighbor to help me clean out the gutters around our house that were clogged with falling leaves. After I did all the physical preparations, I decided that I would sit down and paint my recurring nightmare to see if I could clear it from my consciousness. In one burst of watercolor frenzy, I made the orange sun and the green sky seen through a window. It was primitive, like an eight year old might paint it. Afterwards, I felt calmer, realizing that I had done what I needed to do here to feel safe.
And safe I am. Sleeping through all the wind and rain with Stella, my “dog log” on the bed next to me, I felt no fear at all. The storm blew over us, not flooding or thundering as much as predicted. This morning, I looked up the meaning of dreaming that the sun exploded. I discovered that the sun is a masculine symbol representing the conscious mind and the intellect. It can also be a symbol of the true self and intelligence, as opposed to intuition. So, blowing up the sun might be a message from my soul to my mind. Mysteriously, I do feel protected, and I understand just a little deeper that I must always honor and trust my intuition.