When I was much younger rain was an inconvenience. The day of ninth grade graduation, all dressed up and wearing high heels, my girlfriends and I got soaked as we ran to the local burger place after we got out from school. I resented being drenched! My hair was a mess. My new dress soggy.
In high school, our youth group planned a trip to an amusement park, which was cancelled two weekends in a row. The third weekend we finally just went despite the rain. I’d like to say I took these weather events in stride. But in my youth, rain seemed like the enemy.
Years later, my friend Mary would say: “It’s only weather.” I remember being startled. Indeed, it was merely nature taking its course. Over time, I grew fond of rain. I grew even more so after my father came to live with us. He loved rain. He often asked me at night as he was settled into bed, “Is it rain I hear?” I finally put a sound machine in his room and put it on the rain mode for him.
I recognize since we moved to Montana, that I miss rain. Average rainfall in Tennessee is 51.6 inches; in Montana it is 15.2. Last week there was a dark sky and a clap of thunder and I felt a sense of anticipation, but it was mostly for naught. I think in part I am concerned about wildfires this summer.
In 2007, I received a call from Terry while I was in Maryland at a summer “residency” for a distance learning program I was in. Tennessee was in a drought at that time and there was a wildfire on the other side of the mountain from where we lived. It was headed over the mountain and he had been told by officials to be prepared to evacuate. Terry wanted to know what I thought I was important to take if it came to that. Thankfully, it didn’t. The memory also has stayed with me from last summer, seeing fires blazing below, as we flew in for my candidate weekend with the church.
“It’s only weather,” is a good admonition when we are simply complaining because it doesn’t suit us at the moment. When Mother Nature turns violent, destructive and deadly, we best remember to pay heed.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: Sadly, there are many fewer things I can recycle here in Montana. But one thing I am doing to reduce my use of plastic is to use “Earth Breeze” laundry sheets. What is one thing you might do to “pay heed” to climate change and its effects?