We had a damaging, summer storm on Saturday night. This storm was forecast all week. Of course, forecasters were unsure of timing and significance, but we were assured that there would be heavy rain and perhaps hail and wind. Saturday dawned rather warm and sultry and grew warmer as the day progressed. We watched on our weather reports how the reds and yellows were forming west of us. We could feel it in the humidity and temperatures and see it on the radar. They changed the watch to a warning about an hour before it started to rain and to swoosh the treetops about.
We stood at the screen doors at Clark’s where the family had gathered for a pancake supper, listening to the roar of the non-stop thunder to the northwest.
We enjoy our summer storms. We love the excitement of the swift changes from air you can almost chew, to small, fey and cool whispers that lift the hair and create little whirlwinds in the sand. We speculate the chance that the tornado watch will become the real thing. Some of us have been in damaging storms which makes us more aware of what we’re seeing now as the wind rises. We watch as long as the guys will let us stay up from the basement.
The storm came in sheets of rain and wind that blew trees over randomly. Benny was nervous about this storm we were all relishing. Charlotte comforted him and chided him by turns, understanding his fear. (She’s a good mom!) Elv got called out to Hayward to help clear the streets and roads of the many downed trees. Eventually, the rush and rumble subsided. Lance and Kristine dropped me off at home.
I fumbled with the porch light switch for a few seconds till I realized that we’d lost our electricity. So I was home alone, in the dark. That’s a double-whammy for me. I wasn’t scared, just very aware of those two facts and that I needed to be grown up and find lights and settle to something cozy while I waited for the others to come home later.
Finding lights, yes. A few of the cabin lamps would have been wonderful to have. I finally found candles. The aromatic candles in jars are not that great. Too strong smelling and not enough light to merit them. I discovered that tapers are best of all for light. If you put them in a tall vase they’re even better, because the glass and tin foil with which I stabilized the candle reflected and gave back multiple times the light. Beautiful. Welcome. Safe.
So I sat in my corner and read a book by candle light. Then became distracted by the beauty the candlelight made for me. So I fetched my camera to try to capture it. The peony flowers are entrancing in this light. Had I realized that the white in the background was a box of large and luscious chocolates, they would have been turned for the camera to catch as such and I would have had an additional happy distraction.
It turns out that what I didn’t know was going on outside my little candlelit cocoon was a good thing. At midnight, Amy and I blew out the candles, headed off to beds upstairs, flashlights in hand, deciding not to wait for Elv to come home from clearing trees off the roads. At two thirty, the dog began to bark his there’s-a-bear-out-here bark.And he was right. Amy popped the screen for a better look and shined her flashlight square into the wide face of a rather large bear below by the patio. So! Where was Elv? Had he arrived home? We really didn’t know, he hadn’t checked in with us at any rate. While we discussed what to do about chasing off our now verified dumpster raider and his size, the bear melted back into the shadows. So we took courage and ran between the house and cabin to see if Elv was in bed there. He was.
And he was so tired … he could not be concerned about any ole bear at this hour! “If he comes back; he’ll eat me first,” he said. “I’m fat and juicy. You don’t need to worry.” Then, resumed his snoring. So I was awake alone, but not alone.
Not alone because of the Promises. Storms are a real part of life. Damage, too. Darkness and scary things. But He promises to help us through. Heaven is next where there is no night, no alone-ness, and no uncertainty. This is only a backdrop to make that brighter, clearer.