I really can’t complain that my Leo has that wet dog smell. In fact, I’ve been happy for some rain up here in New England. Even a bit guilty. Watching the news about one weather calamity after another evokes in me both awe and fear. The aerials are eerily compelling. Almost hypnotic.
Hearing the name of the next storm is like learning the roll call of a kindergarten class… in the 1920s. Harvey, Irma, Maria. It makes the storms feel somehow personal, like the friend you just made on the first day of school and who turned out to be a bully. And maybe if you mustered the courage to stand up to him, he’d just go away. That is until you see trees eviscerated, roofs blown off, and people suffering. These are no schoolyard antics.
Weather scientists have predicted between 11 and 17 storms this hurricane season for the Atlantic. In an article on LifeScience.com it seems we should brace ourselves, “As of September 18, the Atlantic has experienced 13 named storms (Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee and Maria), way above the total typically seen over six months, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association [NOAA]. Already, seven of those storms have been hurricanes, exceeding the seasonal outlook’s forecast.” Of course, there are another 13 letters in the alphabet and I wondered what names they’ve come up with. (In a search the next up are Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney). Apparently, at one point in history tropical storms only had female names as if the the wrath of nature must be feminine. The weather people have evened out the playing field. I confess, the naming convention has a bonding effect. A sense of common humanity. A befriending of those in the wake of the storm. I hope this anthropomorphizing of the elements is good for relief efforts.
I cant’ remember Nor’easters having names, those nasty ice storms more typical of where I live. Every year I say, “It’s time to move south.” And then…. “No, it’s not!” It wasn’t long ago that 8 feet of snow trumpled us in a matter of a few days, creating icicle dams, and cracking open our roof. In the aftermath there was terrific snow for sledding and snowboarding. Kids toppled out to frolic. There was a whole week of snow days off from school. A 5-year old girl was struck dead by a heaving branch in her backyard.
Every region seems to have forces of nature that seem beyond comprehension. Earthquakes, fires, mudslides, tornados, tsunamis, pestilence. As I write I see news of a second devastating earthquake in Mexico in just two weeks.
It is as if Mother Earth is in a constant state of heartbreak somewhere. She is. We are.
Just today I heard the haunting song Tomorrow Will Be Kinder, which was inspired by a tornado.
Today I’ve cried a many tear
And pain is in my heart
Around me lies a somber scene
I don’t know where to start
But I feel warmth on my skin
The stars have all aligned
The wind has blown, but now I know
That tomorrow will be kinder”
Yes, I thought: Hope is an aspect of kindness, a faith that brings us together and carries us forward. And the question remains: where in the world do we start?
Anywhere we can be of service is where. And that may be right where you are.
Make plan for hurricanes using a simple guide at Ready.gov.
Learn what to do before, during and after an earthquake using a simple guide at Ready.gov.
Tomorrow Will Be Kinder by the Secret Sisters
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