Yesterday morning I left Frankfort, Indiana and starting heading in the direction of Lafayette. At first the weather was very nice. There was a little breeze, some clouds and the sun was shining brightly. It was just about noon when all of the sudden, the clouds changed to dark grey and the weather started going crazy. The storm clouds gave way to a large thunderstorm with a lot of lightening. At the time, I was passing by a little house so I ran to the house as fast as I could and hid from the storm on the porch. The whole ordeal lasted about 15 to 20 minutes before the clouds went away and the sun returned.
I resumed walking and found myself in a very rural area surrounded by fields and farmland. Then out of what seemed to be nowhere, a large shower of rain began pouring down. In the distance up ahead I spotted some large trees that could be a temporary shelter. So I ran to the trees to put my poncho on to protect me from the rain. As soon as I put on my poncho the rain began pelting down harder and harder. Then the wind started.
The wind starting gusting with such a violent velocity that I found myself being pushed away from the trees. At that moment, I didn’t know what to do. I tried to battle the powerful wind to get back to the tree when suddenly I felt an incredible sense of peace and comfort. It literally felt as if someone was pushing me back to the tree and keeping my feet planted firmly on the earth with each step. It was a miraculous moment.
As soon as I had been somewhat pushed back to the tree, I grabbed onto it, hugging it with my arms and legs literally for dear life. With all the strength I could muster, I bear hugged that tree as the wind whipped around. Never in my life have I felt the power of the wind which such force. I tilted my head up to check and see if a tornado was near but all I could see were large tree branches shaking back and forth in every direction. At that moment I thought to myself, “this tree is going to take off and we’re going to fly.” I resolved to not let go of that tree no matter what and held on with all of the strength I had.
At one point I looked over to my left and saw a man trying to run towards me. The wind was preventing him from reaching me but I could see he was waving his arms frantically. I figured he was calling me or something so I slowly let go of the tree. At that point the wind died down for a brief moment and I ran after the man towards the direction of his house.
The man was yelling “come with me” as we took off to his house. We actually made it! Once I was safely inside the house, I removed my poncho and discovered I was soaking wet. I didn’t know if the wetness came from the rain or the sweat after my intense battle with the storm. I was grateful for my temporary shelter on behalf of these wonderful people. I met the man’s aunt and his aunt’s son. We spent about an hour in the house until the storm passed.
After the epic storm, the sun came back out and I began heading towards Lafayette again. I wasn’t on the road for long until another set of storms rolled into the area. There wasn’t a great deal of rain but the thunder kept booming. The lightening kept flashing and striking with an impressive frequency. It was incredible to see the lightening flashing from all directions.
By the time I arrived at my motel, the sun came out again. Yet early in the evening I could hear tornado sirens blaring, warning our area of a potential tornado. Fortunately by midnight everything had calmed down. The evening weather report stated that winds in the area where I clung to life on a tree, reached 90 miles per hour. While sitting in my hotel room, I began to reflect on my dramatic experience of the day. I remember that feeling of peace and assurance that I was taken care of by someone or something when the wind began to push me away from the trees. Something or someone protected me and I could recall feeling that same stillness and peace I felt when I encountered the white wolf a last week. Whatever or whoever it was that kept me grounded, I am eternally grateful.