L is for Lightning

Even as a child, I loved thunderstorms. I am completely enamored with everything about thunderstorms: the pelting sound of the rain punctuated by the growls of thunder, the beauty of the dark anvil lit in pinks and oranges by the setting sun, and the sudden illumination of lightning.

However, at least once in my life, I was not so excited by thunderstorms. I had been working as a night freight pilot of a small twin engine propeller aircraft and I had no experience navigating around thunderstorms during the day, let alone in the dark by myself. I was frightened, but I had made a commitment to my employers and I was bound and determined to get the job done while being smart enough to stay safe. While enroute, I received a tremendous amount of help from Air Traffic Control and the smooth air allowed me to finally begin to relax and actually see the majesty of the thunderstorms from a new perspective.

It is next to impossible to see a thundercloud at night except in glimpses provided by the lightning. And I realized that sometimes our lives are a lot like that – trying to steer our ship around danger in the dark with only the flashes of lightning to show our path. How can you know what you don’t know until something illuminates it for you, even if it’s only for a fraction of a second? Use those flashes to your advantage and scout out the pitfalls ahead in your path and avoid them. And, every once in a while, take a break to admire a thunderstorm. It can be an illuminating experience.

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