I am curled up on the sofa resting before three long work days ahead. I can hear the rain is pouring outside and the wind is howling. No thunder and lightning tonight. But there is lightning and thunder somewhere, I am sure of it. Apparently there are around 45,000 thunderstorms every day. If you grab a calculator and check, that means there are more than 16 million each year. Right now, around the earth there will be around 2,000 thunderstorms occurring.
When lightning strikes we see tremendous amounts of energy. Researchers, who have studied the incredible clouds in a thunderstorm, state that the clouds in just one thunderstorm are brewing energy equal to ten or more of the nuclear bombs dropped in World War II. Only a proportion of that energy is seen as in the spectacular flashes and strikes of lightning.
But as well as being spectacular and rather humbling, lightning has remarkably beneficial results. It produces forms of nitrogen that reach the soil, where plants absorb them as natural fertilizer.
When we were children, my parents would often let us buy a bag of chips on a Thursday night, when the whole family were together. I remember one night Dad parked the car outside the chippy and left Mum and the little ones waiting, while he and I ran through the rain towards the chip-shop. There were great claps of thunder and the whole sky seemed to flash with lightning that night. I held Dad’s hand tightly as we ran through the pouring rain, because I was nervous. It was super scary for me. Dad always wanted me to ask for our chips. Then he gave me some money to pay whoever was working that night. He wanted me to count the change I received, and then say “thank you very much”. My parents never took a day off from training us 🙂
While we ate our chips at home in the kitchen, Dad told us we could be thankful to the lightning for our delicious chips. I stopped being afraid of thunderstorms and lightning after that. After learning that lightning helps to make the soil rich and produces such fine potatoes, that become the best chippy chips – I was grateful for the lightning from then on.
It’s amazing to think that right now around 2,000 thunderstorms will be occurring isn’t it – think of all those chips!
This post was in response to the WHAT DO YOU SEE? Challenge hosted by Hélène Vaillant, the creator of Willow Poetry: