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Lightning Warning

~ Daniella James


My name is Daniella James. I am an

enrolled member of San Carlos Apache

Tribe. I am born for the Apache, Navajo,

and Mexican people. I will share a story

with you that is related to my youth and

my tribal college education. To get

started, I slowly ask you, what are you

scared of? What makes you stop

suddenly and shiver? What gives you

goosebumps and makes your heart race? Let me guess. Is it the sight of a clown!? I will try once more. Maybe it is a very quick spider running across the floor and darting right to you!! Hmmm. How are you doing? I hope that made you reflect.

Well, since my youth, I have been horrified by lightning and thunder. When I was five years old, if I saw lightning and heard thunder, I would run to my bedroom, jump into my bed, and tightly hide under the covers. When I was fifteen and if I heard thunder, I would run to my mother to verify that the thunder was real. She would verbally console me. When I moved out of my family’s home at nineteen years old and heard thunder, I would call my other on her cellphone to yet again ask if she too experienced the lighting and thunder, despite our many miles of distance! I know, I might be a little dramatic. Yet, this is quite real! I am thankful to have my family console me when I am scared.

Last year I took the San Carlos Apache College course San Carlos Apache Culture 1 with Instructor Seth Pilsk. In this class, I learned that each person has special gifts. I was taught that some people have power with lightning. Yet, I have a twist to make you wonder. During one assignment for culture class, the students were given the task to create a family tree. I asked my sweet younger cousin, Stu, about his knowledge of the family tree. He had confirmed most of my previous investigations from the past several years of note-taking. Yet, Sweet Stu leaked a scary story. Stu said that our great-great-grandfather from my father’s mother’s side has died from a lightning bolt that touched his body!! This makes me wonder if the lighting was attracted to him. Does this mean that light my great-great grandfather had lightning power within him? Does this mean that lightning power was bad for him? Is this why I have been afraid of lighting? I have heard of the concept of “blood memory.” Those are memories that are born into your mind from ancestral history. Perhaps, this has been a warning throughout my entire life. Yet again, I think this is a link to an insight that I was born into the power o lightning. I am meant to be strong with something good.



Note: Photo courtesy the author.