Last night, I saw a dozen ropey tornadoes merge and form an enormous tornado. I wasn’t afraid, just interested, as I am most times I dream of tornadoes or, for that matter, see them when awake too. Of course, having never seen anything larger than an F2 tornado (which is large enough to peel roofs off but generally not powerful enough to fling cars around or insert blades of grass into telephone poles), my lack of fear is based on inexperience.
I lived in Kansas for more than a decade before I began dreaming of tornadoes, something I aspired to like learning to fly in my dreams (which I didn’t figure out until my 30s). Most native Kansans around me had been dreaming of tornadoes all their lives. It’s a given among most people I know: sometimes we dream of tornadoes just as pregnant women often dream of giving birth. But dreams bend the edges of what we think is possible. Ken has dreamt of tornadoes made of flowers. I dreamt of giving birth to kittens, linked together like a line of sausages.
Dreams also don’t correspond with the events of the day. Despite the sudden snowstorm (again? sheesh!) yesterday after the surprising defeat of the Jayhawks, coinciding with the end of spring break, my little sadness didn’t follow me into sleep but instead fell away so I could watch the sky do astonishing things. When I woke to see the snow coat on all the branches thinning and falling off slowly, the bright clouds of the day and the very tornado-less sky all around, I shook off the tornadoes and made some coffee. Spring is coming, and anything can happen.
For the most incredible photographs and videos of tornadoes, see Stephen Locke’s gallery.