I am not afraid of storms,
for I am learning to sail my ships.
Old English storm, Old Norse stormr, High German sturm
1) a violent disturbance of the atmosphere, taking the form of high winds, often with heavy falls of rain, hail or snow, thunder and lightening, rough conditions with high foaming waves at sea, and clouds of sand or dust in arid regions
2) a heavy discharge or downfall (of missiles, blows, etc.), or a violent assault on a fortified position.
3) a paroxysm, a violent attack (of pain, disease, etc.)
4) of the wind, the sea, the weahter; to be tempestuous or stormy rage.
5) complain with rough and violent language, rage.
6) to make story, troubled, vexed, disturbed.
These lines are from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott published in 1868 by Roberts Brothers. The speaker is Amy March after she and her new husband Laurie return home to Massachusetts. The opening scene of Part 2 Chapter 44, titled “My Lord and Lady” include Amy and Laurie as well as Mr. and Mrs. March, and Jo.
The full quote is ::
“Lovely weather so far. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship. Come home, dear, and I’ll find your bootjack. I suppose that’s what you are rummaging after among my things. Men are so helpless, Mother,” said Amy, with a matronly air, which delighted her husband.
Louisa May Alcott lived from 1832 to 1888, dying at age 55. Little Women is her best known work. Under the alias A.M. Barnard, she also wrote passionate, salacious stories
Her parents were famous transcendentalists who were friends with Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. She herself was an abolitionist and a feminist. She never married.
A little known fact is that she served as a nurse in Washington DC, in what was at that time the city of Georgetown, during the Civil War. She was to serve for 3 months but halfway through got very ill with typhoid.
You can read and learn more about Louisa May Alcott and see the home, Orchard House, where she set and wrote Little Women here.
Little Women’s story has been dramatized many times, including –