Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Morning Thanks--for peace amid the storm


Every few seconds, the darkness outside my basement window is washed away by lightning, heavenly strokes of incalcuable power that are not close, but yet close enough to turn night to day in shimmering tenths of seconds. The action seems south of here--I think that's the direction--probably moving this way. Most storms do.

Thunder rolls and rumbles when it's far off. If you're not scared to death, distant thunder is more amusing than anything, some madcap heavenly drummer, fifty miles away behind the thick curtain of darkness, doing his thing in fits and spurts.

The next county is probably catching the wrath of a storm. But here, just outside my window--and somewhere here in the basement--the crickets reign, chirping in chorus and desire, I suppose, looking ever so loudly for soul mates--and more, I guess. All that thunder hasn't stopped them. Either they have beans in their ears or they're simply not scared of the deluge to come. Or else they're so ginned up by desire they're semi-conscious. This time of year, horny crickets drive me nuts.

Sooner or later the storm will arrive. Sooner or later it'll lumber north or east, and the rippling thunder just above our heads may well wake school kids before their time. Lightning will crackle, and even the crickets will hole up somewhere out of the storm, turn on their computers in silence, and check out e-harmony.

Lightning is good for the grass, I'm told, and all kinds of living things because it produces "fixed" nitrogen. You might say it feeds us. I should be thrilled. Lightning brings life.

But it's also a serial killer whose tally of victims is second only to floods, I guess.

And even though that young grass outside my front door, the stuff that got planted after our new sidewalk went in, can certainly use a healthy shot of fixed nitrogen, when I see the flashes outside in the darkness, I can't help think of the kid who was killed in the Grand Tetons, blasted off a mountain ledge by the bolt of a killer storm, his parents still in deep grief.

So much of what we experience, day to day, comes in yin/yang, positive and negative strokes. Three weeks ago, I'd be heartsick by the storms marching up here this morning, scared to death the basement flood was going to reappear. This morning I'm cheering--we need the rain.

So much of life is a balancing act--maintaining, amid the storm, some kind of equilibrium.

Outside, right now, there's no drum roll. The lightning I thought was coming up from the south stayed west of us, it seems. Outside the window, no one is shooting with a flash. And there's rain, a blessing.

This morning's thanks is for rain and balance and all things in moderation--no killers, just the fixed nitrogen we all need. I'm thankful, right now, for peace.

I still hate crickets, especially when they invade my living space. But then, they've got their needs too, I guess.

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