Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Morning Thanks--this morning's cool breeze
Outside my windows, the wind is rustling the shiny leaves of the old cottonwood, a particular, scratchy sound that feels, somehow, like fall. The high today--forecasters say--will be 79, the wind north, northwest. We suffered a walloping storm last night that shivered the timbers all over this place, 60 mph winds that rattled inside and out. Right now, it's still very dark, and I've yet to assess the damage.
But nothing fell greatly on the house, which means almost anything else can be cleaned up--and I'm now the owner/operator of two chain saws, two more than I've ever owned in my life.
In the twinkling of an eye, it seems, miles and miles' of soybean fields have thrown on a yellow coat. Just about every year I'm surprised by how fast those fields turn--one day forest green, the next day gold. The landscape all around looks autumn-ish.
This morning we'll rejoice in the temperature of the breeze coming in through the west windows. It's cool. Ever since we moved into this house, anything less than 90 degrees seemed like relief, yesterday yet another scorcher. But I checked weather.com's handy ten-day forecast just now, and this morning there's not a ninety in sight.
A dry NW wind, leaves already falling all over the yard, and fifty-degree nights all portend what Labor Day signals: summer, thank goodness, is soon to be history.
And what a summer, hot like you wouldn't believe, more 100-degree days than I can remember, anything mid-80s pure relief.
Here's my take, for better or for worse. You tend to believe those whose scientific knowledge surpasses yours--in my case, that's a goodly number--and those who you trust. I don't know if global warming is caused by our overuse of fossil fuels. I don't know if Obama's backing away from the transcontinental pipeline is the right thing to do or a concession to those socialist environmentalists who seek this country's doom by sending us back outside to pit toilets. I don't know the facts. What I do know is that somehow most all facts can lie.
But the people whose view of God and nature and mankind I trust all insist that our hot summer has at least something to do with what we do and not just what nature has always done. The people I trust--the colleagues I taught with--don't scream bloody murder at the horrors we perpetuate on the environment, but insist, boldly, that we need to find better ways of sustaining much more than our GNP. I don't claim to know--I only believe.
What I know, however, is that this morning, even though it's dark as night outside, those cottonwood leaves are dancing in a cool northwest wind coming into my study through a pair of half-open windows. Maybe--just maybe--the 90s are behind us, the 100s gone. Maybe the heat is finally over. Maybe it's fall.
We're a finicky lot of fair-weatherers, of course. Come January, I'll be sick and tired of windows that can't be opened, of northwest winds that rip your face off, and of sheer, numbing cold. I'll be thinking blissfully of summer. But right now all that harvest gold around me here in Siouxland is just about the most fulsome blessing I could imagine.
The seasons are changing. Hallelujah! Reason enough for morning thanks.