My trembling buddy makes me think….

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

It’s a relentless rain here today, with bone rattling, long instances of thunder. The kind of rain that becomes flooding, and the kind of thunder which makes you think you’ve never felt thunder in your chest like that before.

Outside my office window this morning.

If it was just me here, I might grab a beer or cup of coffee and sit on the porch. These spectacular displays of nature are few and far between, and should be appreciated when the opportunity is there to take it in. Too often, we’re instead irritated by nature’s gift as we run from car to building or we’re forlorn because nature’s onslaught has ruined plans for one of summer’s precious few days.

As a guy with a dog, though, I’m not going out on the porch. I’m not going on the porch because Willow has burrowed her way into the small space underneath my desk and she’s sitting on my feet, trembling and panting inconsolably.

I was thinking that I wish I could some how make her understand that the thunder isn’t going to hurt her, that there’s no reason to be afraid.

I was thinking about how her crippling, devastating, and irrational-yet-entirely-understandable fear was a lot like all the fear we all carry around. Willow hears those big noises and it stirs something beyond ration, something deeply coded into her DNA.

Of course, not only does she miss out on nature’s great show, she forces me to miss out, too.

Most of our fears are the same way, and most of our reactions to our fears leave us missing out on great things in our world– and maybe even forces the people we love to miss out, too.

I was thinking all that, when a tornado warning popped up for just as few miles away. Hmm, I said, as rationally as I could.

So maybe a little fear is healthy… but the next time fear of some low-percentage possibility stops me from living life to the fullest, I hope I think of the useless anxiety in my little furry buddy’s trembling and decide to do my best and enjoy the storm. Even if some ancient code on my DNA leaves my heart rate a little elevated.

Steve Cichon is a candidate for Erie County Clerk. Read more at steveforclerk.com

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. The operator of Buffalo Stories Tours writes about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo special at blog.buffalostories.com and daily at buffalonews.com/history. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV, climbing his way to news director at WBEN Radio. Since then, he's been an adjunct professor and produced PBS documentaries. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.