I live in farm country here in South Dakota, and farmers often comment on how one farmer may receive a welcome splash of rain in a drought, while nearby neighbors don’t see a drop.
Nature’s haphazard, arbitrary power is beautifully illustrated in this embedded video — “Tsunami from Heaven” — which shows a time-lapse rainstorm sweeping down a mountainside and dumping what appears to be its entire payload on a very narrow stretch of river.
When I see realities such as this, it further convinces me of the inherent randomness of material existence in the cosmos. Monotheistic believers see the workings of divinity in everything, including this lovely storm, but I see arbitrary events caused by pure physics. Events that occur with no other verifiable rhyme or reason but what the power of substantiality requires.
This conclusion of overarching materiality does nothing to dilute the awesomeness of these moments for me. They are moving and gorgeous and awe-inspiring in their own solidity.
When farmers lament that a welcome rainstorm seems to purposefully evade them, they are usually joking (while shaking their fist at the sky), because although on this stretch of prairie they’re all mostly good Christians, they are also at heart supreme realists who know nature intimately. In fact, nature, of which this filmed storm is an integral part, doesn’t care about anything. It does what it’s compelled by automatic nature to do, irrespective of and insensible to anything else in the universe.
In other words, there is no hard evidence that invisible, omnipotent beings are orchestrating our lives for us, or sending storms to assault or avoid us at their will. There are reasons why everything in creation happens, but none credibly or provably linked to anything but real nature itself, as storms are.So be awed or fearful or resentful of nature, but don’t take what it does personally. Caring is solely a human capacity. Nature, like the weather, is never fair, or purposeful.
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Thanks for reading my Godzooks blog. FYI, now and through the Christmas season, my memoir, “3,001 Arabian Days,” will be available on Amazon at a discount — $12 (was $15.95) for the paperback, and $5 (was $6.99) in Kindle format. Enjoy! Access it on my Amazon page: http://tinyurl.com/y7rzla44. See more info below: