Thursday, April 28, 2011
Morning Thanks--more rain
Right now, at this very moment, just a minute or so after five a.m., Central Daylight, noone really knows what kind of destruction tornadoes wreaked last night on a swath of horror viscious spring storms took through the South. Oh, many hundreds, even thousands, know individually--those who, by flashlight, have already discovered there's nothing left where yesterday stood house or barn or neighborhood. In a fierce, violent line that stretched from Texas to New York, killer storms took the lives of 83 people at latest count. Experts guess that, come daylight, that number will rise.
On my way downstairs I looked out our window and saw a wet street. Rain seems as constant as the kid brother you wish would get lost. I keep thinking about the college kids who play ball these days who can't get games in to save their hides. If it doesn't rain here, the wind blows, and it's never been warmer than fifty-something. It's been a spring to bring shame, really, a real flop.
But had we been on the cusp of that low pressure system down South, that line of destruction that will soon be unmistakable from a couple hundred feet in the air, had we been where those two massive fronts collided--and we could have been, we could have been--then I'd see much worse than shiny wet streets from my windows, if there'd be windows at all, much less streets.
We've got bad weather but thousands, down South, have no homes. Hundreds are mourning.
My sister and her family are safe, even though, rumor has it, a goodly chunk of the neighborhood around Ringgold, Georgia, where they live has been rudely reupholstered by tornados. Once upon a time, a great battle of the Civil War was fought in the hills all around where they live. This morning, as the sun rises, weary, beaten, grieving people will look out at devastation no one's seen there for 150 years.
This morning's thanks are for them, my family, who made it through; but those thanks, while deep, are best said in lower case because last night, all through the South there were and are many whose lives God did not choose to spare.
Somewhere in Anne Lammott's treasure trove of tales, she says her arsenal of prayers include only two words--"Thanks" and "Help." Just two prayers. She's right. And this morning, all through the South and all over the country, for that matter, it's those two prayers one hears ascending from a million basements, bedrooms, curbs and hospital beds. Shrink all those words down, and what's left is thanks and help, neighbor after neighbor.
Me among them from the cold and rain that feels remarkably comforting here, once again, just outside.