Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A blustery day

Sometimes Mother Nature reminds us that we are small.

Last night I got very little sleep. Outside my house there were trees falling, trash cans rolling, gas barbeques tipping and porch furniture going through windows.

At least that is what I imagined until I got up (three times) to make sure everything was in its place. If you heard what I heard, you would have thought all of those things too. As I lay awake at 12:30 and 1:15 and 2:34 and 3:47 and 5:15 and finally at 6:10, I listened to the great windstorm outside of my house and thought about how much power was whipping around.

As I listened to the wind last night I thought about how insignificant I am. It wasn’t a pity moment—I realize that I matter in a human sense. But I am insignificant in size and physical power. I am small against the great energy of the earth. There I was in my oversized house, scared that at any moment the forces of earth might take down all that humans built around me. It was a humbling moment, the type of feeling I sometimes get when I look at the ocean or make it to the top of a mountain. That sense—that awareness of my small place in this huge world—helps me appreciate creation and reminds me to give thanks that for a short second in the long history of earth, that I have a chance to experience what was given to us.

After skipping my morning swim (who wants to work out in that wind?!) I sat on the couch with the kitchen lights on and Doppler showing its colors across my TV screen. I was less frightened in the dawn. When I heard this morning that the wind gusts were as high as 50 mph I had to laugh at myself a little for being so overdramatic about our California weather patterns. People who live in hurricane areas experience much worse than that, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to witness bigger winds than those that are pushing their way through the Sacramento Valley today.

So although it makes for traffic accidents, messy hair, wet clothes and generally terrible driving conditions, today I am appreciating this beautiful storm, giving thanks to the Creator and praying that tonight the wind dies down between 11pm and the time I wake up tomorrow morning.

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