It may well be my first memory.

I'm laying in the dark screaming, terrified of the thunder that has wakened me. My father comes into the room and scoops me up into his arms.

We're moving. I distinctly remember passing from the darkness of the hall into the light of the kitchen. My mother is saying: Russell, what are you doing? Russell, what are you doing?

He carries me out the back door. Rain is sluicing down. We both must have been soaked through immediately, though I don't remember noticing. Out we go, into the heart of the storm.

In the middle of the yard, he throws open a lawn chair. He sits down, and seats me in his lap.

There I sit, utterly protected, as the rain drenches down and the thunder crashes around us.

The storm passes over, and we watch it moving off. I remember the eerie beauty of the lightning's silent play on the horizon.

Although I have since been within mere feet of a lightning strike, I have never since feared storms; indeed, I became at that moment, and have been ever since, a lover of Thunder.

A few years back I told this story to my father. I thanked him and praised the sagacity of his actions.

He didn't remember any of it. Many of the deepest things that we do, we do in passing.

But that didn't stop him from grinning appreciatively.

“That was a pretty smart thing to do,” he said.