pollen painting

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the rain came and washed away the pollen

or so we thought

until the wind nudged the leaves along the sidewalk a bit

disturbing them in their slumber where the rough storm had left them be

 

and there underneath was the brightest yellow

where all had collected and gathered

protected

beneath the leaves

as the storm passed

and the day began

 

a perfect painting of what once was

and would not be again

 

 

 

 

Gearing Up for the Storm

Today the littles and I went to their class at the Go Fish Education Center and learned a lot about the weather.  One of the things they made there was a “foldable” with four different categories–they wrote the pertinent information for each one on the inside.

When discussing thunderstorms, the teacher shared about things we can do to be safe in the midst of one.  Things like don’t stay in the pool or in a boat, get inside, and…..

unplug important things around the house.

Then the young woman teaching the class shared that we probably don’t do that as much as we used to, what with having surge protectors and all.

But it was too late.  That image, all those memories, they came flooding back, quick and hard.  The unplugging when we first heard the thunder…..yep.  Praying we’d caught it in time and not lost the TV…..or the phone…..or, in later years, the computer or the VCR.

When we got home, the littles questioned me about this.  “Do we not care if our things get struck by lightning?  Is that why we don’t unplug our things?”

Ummmm.  Well.  We do care.  But…..surge protectors, right?

At least I hope they’ll do the job.

When I was growing up, as soon as we heard the first rumble of thunder, we all scrambled like we were on a top secret mission pertinent to national security.  Some grabbed the laundry basket and clothespin bucket and ran out to get the clothes in off the line–fingers crossed they were dry.  Others ran around unplugging things.  I can remember many a time being in the middle of a TV show and having to turn it off and unplug the TV until the storm passed.  This was in the day way back before we ever dreamed of DVR’s and the like.  So we were…..out of luck.  Until rerun season at least.  No Netflix to catch up on what we’d missed either.  But that’s another story for another night.

As I was remembering all of this, I think the fact that this has become something of the past is indicative of where we are in general.  Growing up, we respected storms.  We gave them the space to do what they had to do while trying our best to protect ourselves. I don’t necessarily mean that we are foolish now when it comes to storms, but we seem to push the limits and push past them.  Used to be if the weather was stormy we didn’t get out much.  Now we keep on keepin’ on, and just drive right through it, with our wipers blazing.  Rarely do we unplug in the face of a storm anymore.  We usually continue on as usual, barely giving the storm much notice.  At least until it wreaks serious havoc.  And then we surely do notice, don’t we?

Sometimes I think we miss a chance to refuel and regroup when a storm is approaching.  We are becoming an intense, “WE GOT THIS” “NEVER SAY DIE” sort of people, and so storm shmorm, no problem, CARRY ON, PEOPLE, DON’T LET IT GET YOU DOWN.

Until it’s too late, and the damage is done.

Maybe when the storms of life are approaching, it would be good to unplug for a little while.  To sit and be still and do all we can to protect ourselves.  Not all storms give a heads up, that’s true.  But for the ones that do, what would it be like if we circled the wagons, held each other close, and held on to something that gives us comfort?  (That was another suggestion of things to do in preparing for a major weather event.)

What would that do for our souls?

Take care of you.  We don’t want to lose you to the storm.

Love to all.

Lightning3

“Lightning3” by U.S. Air Force photo by Edward Aspera Jr. – United States Air Force, VIRIN 040304-F-0000S-002 or unbroken-link (or VIRIN 060822-F-1111A-001). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – File:Lightning3.jpg

She Showed Me the Rainbows

It sure has been raining a lot this summer. I’m not complaining. It’s been nice, keeping things green and not as hot as usual. It reminds me of my summer in Valdosta in 1985 when it seemed to rain around the same time every afternoon, leaving the evenings unbearably humid when the sun would come out again. I am grateful it’s not imitating the summer of 1994–the one when it started raining and didn’t stop until we had all kinds of flood damage around here.

Yesterday evening we were at Daybreak up in Macon. The meal was over and folks were heading out, trying to find cover before the impending storm hit. I kept watching out the back window of the building as the dark clouds came closer and closer. I wondered if it would hit before we left. I used to love rainy weather and all that it entailed until I started going up to Come to the Fountain and Daybreak and getting to know our friends who have no place to call home. Now it comes with worry–where will our friends go? How will they weather yet one more downpour?

As I was gathering my thoughts and the discarded plates and soupbowls, one of our friends and fellow volunteers tapped me on my arm–“Hey look, a rainbow!” He pointed out the side window. The whole time I’d been watching through the back windows, focused on the storm approaching, there through the side window a beautiful rainbow could be seen.

My littles gazing out at the rainbow through the side window at Daybreak

My littles gazing out at the rainbow through the side window at Daybreak

Well, the picture doesn’t do it justice, but it was there.  I gathered my littles and took them over to the window for a closer look.  As it seemed to be fading, it was harder for them to see it, but once they did, oh the joy on their sweet faces!

Today I’ve had my Mama on my heart more than usual.  I miss her so much.  She was good at that, you know.  In the storms of life, instead of watching the storm approach or cowering in the midst of it, she was always looking for that rainbow.  Some days feel a little stormier than others.  I sure could use her here to help me look at things from a different point of view and see the rainbow, instead of panicking about the storm.  She was someone who saw many storms, bad ones, from a very young age.  Yet she worked to prevent storms from hitting us, her babies (always her babies, she’d say), head-on.  When one inevitably did, she was there with open arms–to gather us close, to dry our tears, and to help us seek the rainbow–a sign of hope.  And if we were headstrong and just wouldn’t look, so bogged down in our own misery, she was the first one to call us out, and say, “Get up! Look around.  There’s a whole world of good out there.  Don’t let this define you.”

I am thankful for the time I had with my Mama.  Is it okay to say it wasn’t enough?  I am so thankful that today when my Aub and I were talking about what Mama would have said about something, we were both quoting her back and forth verbatim.  Because she’s in our hearts, we know what she’d say most of the time.  It’s just we miss having her say it, hearing the love in her voice and seeing the light in her eyes as she did.  I really appreciate that my friend, who had no idea the turbulence in my heart right now, was looking out for the rainbow and took the time to share it.  I think that’s what we are called to do–show each other encouragement.  And hope.  And point out the rainbows even as the storm clouds gather.  Sometimes, when there’s just no words to fix it, that’s the best we can do.