While a minority of us enjoy a severe thunderstorm, the sound of distant thunder seems to comfort most humans. Like other universal emotional responses, I suspect that this reaction to thunder is inborn, buried in the collective soul of our species.
Though the distant rumble of thunder could be accepted as a warning, a signal to retreat from nature's fury, it also implies relief from the heat and the promise of rain for a parched earth. Considering the universal appeal of music, with its bass rhythm and percussion, early humans may have perceived thunder to be the music of the gods, a welcome sign of their providence.
For whatever reason, the sound of a thunderstorm has a soothing effect on most humans, yet more evidence that we are part of nature's domain; physically, mentally and emotionally attached to her web of life and death, we are ultimately dependent on her bounty, however fickle she may be in its delivery.