The weather channel is on as I sit out the remnants of another rainy morning here. The wind is kicking up now so the rain is likely on its way out, but there is water everywhere, and its going to be another cool day here, and one that just seems to the never ending long period of cold and gloom we have experienced.
Last night at a meeting of our Historical group, I looked around the lined faces of those people I had known all my life. They are now the standard bearers of the memories for our town and what it was and what will be remembered in the future. We talked about the rain and the weather as people in small towns always seem to do. It is the single greatest influence on our lives, day in and day out, when we take time to think about it. I asked how our grandparents had lived through endless, (or so it has seemed), crappy weather, and not just endured, but had found reasons to be optimistic. Without the distractions of television and even today's instant knowledge of everything going on everywhere, you turned to family and community to see you through times that seemed would never end. Long winters meant time to do those things put off during the sunrise to sunset outdoor work of summer. You took the time to do those solitary activities that the hustle of good weather didn't always allow. You read, knitted, quilted, repaired and mended, and made music. Families played cards and board games and did puzzles together. Communities gathered for dinners, and local school sporting events, and town activities. Church's were the lifeblood of most small communities and kept people in touch, and content that winter would end. We knew only what we could see out our windows, and we also knew that each season held charms and we embraced it as we could not conceive of doing different.
It seemed this winter all we did was complain about the length of it, the cold, the snow, and the failure for it to depart on time and allow a true spring to descend upon winter weary, Michigan. Now two weeks of heavy and dangerous storms have passed through the South. Yesterday, tornadoes spawned all over the deep South from Arkansas to the East coast. I have a good friend near Birmingham, AL. He warned me early yesterday morning that they were predicting bad storms and an emergency level for tornadoes they had not experienced for 30 years. He said it was likely I would not hear from him as power would go out. He requested prayers for he and his family.
I watched the Weather Channel yesterday in the afternoon as the first round of bad storms went through and as Alabama prepared for the next round which was predicted to be worse. It was almost hypnotic to watch the video captured of engulfing funnel clouds being shown almost as they happened. Today's instant technology can make us voyageurs of so many weather events while we sit safe in our homes far away. I don't know if that's a good thing or bad. I have googled the town's involved to find out what I can, and I am impatient to know my friend and his family are all right, but know full well it will likely be days before he can get online to let me know. Without power, cellphones, a wonderful savior for disasters, will die after a bit and I understand need to be used for imediate aid and relief. So, I wait and know that my weariness with gray weather is nothing as compared to what is happening to people I know and many more I don't.
Its all about perspective, and we need to have the lens of ours, scratched, shook, and smoothed every so often. We learn to be more human when we realize there are so many others who have life altering realties, not just life stressing ones.
Its good to get perspective....just please, Lord, don't give me more than I can handle, at a time....