Stormy Cathedrals

Photo by Johannes Plenio on

When we were children, storms tended to frighten us. I’m not sure when the switch happened, but for me, they inspire reverence. Over the past week, we’ve had our share of storms where I live. This took me back to a poem I wrote almost two years ago, birthed out of a similar storm-gazing experience.

I know that Gerard Manley Hopkins doesn’t directly reference a storm in his immortal poem, God’s Grandeur, but his opening line – “The world is charged with the grandeur of God” – clearly suggests his agreement with my poetic conclusion. Nature constantly points us back to the Creator. In fact, just this week, we watched a movie called Brothers of the Wind, a beautiful story of a boy and an eagle. As an avid lover of hawks and eagles, I was easily hooked. But then the backdrop of the Austrian Alps drew me into a posture of praise as I entered behind the veil into that natural holy place.

Here then, is a simple moment of awe inspired by a less magnificent sight – a summer storm in Western Pennsylvania.

Summer Storm

Vincent H. Anastasi - 2019

There's nothing like a raw storm
to stir up the mother of wonder
gazing heavenward
where pregnant polarized clouds
birth luminous offspring
with ancient groanings
that reverberate in my soul;
and in that evanescent moment
when the world is truly charged
with the grandeur of God,
I drink deep of fermented awe
and celebrate each fulgurous child.

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