In the Midst of a Storm

In the Midst of a Storm January 11, 2012

There’s an impressive thunderstorm raging outside. I’m sitting here listening to the cracks and booms, to the wind and rain battering my home, and wondering how bad will it get? How long will it last? Is that a long roll of thunder, or a tornado headed my way?

Franz Mattuschka Wikimedia Commons CC

And this storm is fiercely beautiful. The power is awe-inspiring and majestic. It’s a little scary. It reminds me I’m not in control. That I’m small and helpless in the face of nature’s great fury. And in some small way, I am comforted by that.

Maybe that is counter-intuitive. We humans like to build. We like to leave lasting images. We create Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza to live on thousands of years after our death. Yet even so, there is some strange comfort in knowing nature will prevail.

The earth will survive us. Our cities will one day disappear back into the star-stuff they came from. When the sun becomes a red giant far, far into the future, the earth will likely be swallowed up. All the traces of life on earth will go with it. Stonehenge, Macchu Picchu and the Empire State building will all be destroyed.

If humanity survives to that point, if it finds a new homeworld, then it will watch as it’s history is swallowed up slowly. It will know earth only as a distant memory, a lost eden, and it will continue to look out towards the stars.

When this storm passes the earth will be washed clean. Weakened branches may have been blown from trees, and other forms of natural pruning might occur. Everything will be fresh and sparkling. The smell of rain and damp earth will fill the air. All will be right soon enough.

You just have to sit tight, have an emergency plan, breathe and recognize nature’s strange beauty, which does not always conform to our needs and desires.

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