Wikipedia describes a lightning rod as such:
A lightning rod is a metal rod or conductor mounted on top of a building and electrically connected to the ground through a wire, to protect the building in the event of lightning. If lightning strikes the building it will preferentially strike the rod, and be conducted harmlessly to ground through the wire, instead of passing through the building, where it could start a fire or cause electrocution.
Several nights ago I woke up with a jolt in the middle of the night. I had a terrifying dream, the details of which faded with every continuing moment of consciousness. When the sleep paralysis wore off after a few panic-stricken seconds, my hand shot out across the bed to find my husband. As soon as I felt the warmth of his skin on my fingertips, I was comforted. Sedated. Satisfied. In the same no-time it took the receptor nerves in my fingers to relay the message of touch to my brain, my brain sent a message to my heart: safe.
He is my lightning rod.
|General Electric Lab, creating artificial lightning to study its behavior, |
with man-made lightning striking rod atop miniature courthouse.
June 1949 Google LIFE archives
He is what protects me in the event of lightning. If lightning strikes near me, he stands in the way and it is conducted harmlessly to the ground through him, instead of passing through me, where it could cause permanent damage.
Since that night a few weeks ago, I have been hyper-aware of my night time habits. Like an involuntary muscle movement, or probably more accurately, muscle memory, my arm stretches out to find him. Every time it connects, the same words flash on the peripheries of my mind: He is my lightning rod.
So many times in our short life together, lightning has struck dangerously close to me. In each instance he has taken the blow for me, leaned into the wind and absorbed or diffused a bazillion volts so that I didn't have to. He stands taller and straighter than I do- he does not waver, he does not falter, he keeps me out harm's way. He is imperfect, yes, because he has been hit enough times that he now bears deep scars. But still he stands. He points heavenward and is prepared to help me do the same.
Should the hairs on my arms ever stand at attention, readying for the impending strike, he will be there. Should the smell of sulfer ever fill the air, he will be the one who provides me oxygen. Should a clap of thunder ever scare the pee-waddlin' out of me, he will brace me for what comes after.
He is my lightning rod.
ps- Happy birthday, boo. Thank you for being who you are.