Monday, April 27, 2009

Powerful storms

I've been thinking this past weekend of the power and selective nature of some storms that come through my area of this time of year.

Last Saturday, I witnessed about 30-45 minutes of heavy wind, horizontal rain and sudden darkness; then stillness. I looked out my windows to find only a couple of smaller branches had fallen and was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Just a bit later, I'd lost power and decided to hang out at a friend's house that evening. On the way into "downtown" Vicksburg, I see what appeared to be hundred-year-old trees wish-boned in half, pine trees the height of a three-story houses uprooted in a local playground. The free standing sign of a Family Dollar shattered - only the border remains.

The odd thing is this - only a small percentage of the area (and trees) were affected. Further north, only a small spring shower was experienced.

I wonder why, with my house standing adjacent to a bit of farm land , hidden only by a thin row of trees, have none of these trees fallen on my house, cars, etc?

I also wonder why, while driving through the middle of one of these said storms a couple of years ago, was I able to stop my van (with 0% visibility, mind you) right next to the only two large trees within a mile, only to have the front of my 6-day-old van crushed by one of those trees. Was the power of that wind enough to roll my van with me and two children in tow if I hadn't stopped by those trees? Did the tree fall just inches from my head without so much as a scratch to me or my children just to wake me up in my seemingly meager existence and realize what a gift life is?

Well, the latter is what my interpretation was to this event in my life - and I have been the better for it. During another one of my epiphany moments (while mowing my lawn), I decided to take heart the words of William W. Purkey when he said,
Dance like there's nobody watching
Love like you'll never get hurt
Sing like there's nobody listening
Live like it's heaven on earth
And speak from the heart to be heard."

...and I've been trying to live this way ever since. It's not easy. It's many times uncomfortable, but I've met lots of amazing new people I never would have met as a wall flower. I've had conversations I never would have had before. I've had experiences I could not have conjured in a dream. Life is a work in progress, but if you're going to create, make it a masterpiece!

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