I have opined, wryly, that all roads lead to Naperville, but disaster and destruction are not what we usually are known for.
Living in the Midwest demands a level of weather resilience, to be sure. When I moved here, I had no idea that the sirens I sometimes heard required response because a tornado approached.
I wish Welcome Wagon had included a flyer about local climate in the basket they dropped off, along with the gifts. It was not until a neighbor explained all the precautions she took to prepare for tornado season that I began to get the picture.
I bought a weather radio, and probably scared the starch out of my mother-in-law since I pointed it out to her when she came from Philadelphia to take care of the grandchildren.
Bad weather during childhood seemed like little more than wallpaper. A storm was a chance to watch the drama from the porch or through the window, or maybe to curl up with a book. My mother would take the opportunity to catch up on ironing, which sounds quaint now. She would set up in the kitchen with her radio, a green glass bottle of Coke perched at the end of the board.
In contrast, or perhaps because I am not a child, weather patterns during climate change seem more of a set-up for something that may come next. A drought portends future flooding. Fluctuating temperatures set the stage for twisters. I have experienced both.
This has always been true, but on the backdrop of our tentative emergence from the pandemic, the facts simply feel more harsh.
Just holding on and waiting now feels like digging a hole.
I inch forward, and consider how to make whatever contribution I can to ease others’ suffering. I buy a kettle bell, and delight in the prospect of increasing my own core strength—physical and emotional.
Small steps down the path of hope. (c)