the storm

The power is out, the internet is down, but thanks to my fully charged laptop I’m sitting at my kitchen table, typing away while the storm rages outside my window. Our wooden fence creaks and strains—part of it has come down completely (but the section the boys fixed this summer stands firm). Branches and debris fly across the yard, while the trees bend and twist. The wind changes direction every few moments. It’s not just a storm; it looks more like Nature throwing a tantrum.

One of our neighbor’s trees—a gorgeous 30 foot chanticleer pear—split in half, straddling both our yards. Branches and garbage ricochet down the street. Strangely, the sky reveals wide patches of blue.

We joked with Stefan, “Yeah, just tell your professors at Harvard you had to miss the first day of class because we’re having a hurricane in Utah.” But this year, well, this year, I think they’d believe him. Don’t you just feel like anything could happen? Like nothing could surprise you now?

Working from home, online school, tutoring over Zoom, guitar lessons over Facetime—we’re all adapting to this strange pandemic world. But what if we don’t have Internet or power?

I think many of us wonder, “Is this just a strange year, or the new normal?” Will life go back to ‘normal’ or will we go from one storm to the next?

Oh! A cushion just flew up and slammed against the glass door and now Xander wants to show me all the videos he took while driving with Stefan down to Liberty Park this morning. Hundreds of trees are down, trucks are holding up power lines, debris and garbage hitting the car windshield.

It’s just a storm. I know. And not a hurricane. So many people are cleaning up from real hurricanes, wildfires, illness, wars, riots, abuse.

Still, this wild storm is so strange. Like the earthquake in March—almost exactly 6 months ago—Moroni dropping his trumpet. And I can’t help but ask, “what does it mean?”

I wrote the above on Tuesday morning– we didn’t have power again until Saturday afternoon, no internet until this morning. And what did we learn…

  1. We have everything we need. We have each other, we have food and candles, we are resourceful and funny and kind. And that would work great if no one had to work or go to school or keep up commitments because…
  2. Wow, we are SO dependent on electricity and internet. We got everything done– it just took longer and felt exhausting
  3. Generators are a very, very good idea. We had to borrow one from Grandpa Fritz and we’re now going to fix up another one (also from Grandpa Fritz) for the next time. Because don’t you think the next time is just around the corner?
  4. As soon as you get power back on, you kind of forget about the people who are still without power– but I think this is a whole ‘nother post.
  5. I keep thinking about roots. See the car up above? It was just parked in the driveway when a toppling tree, lifted it right off the ground. We saw hundreds of downed trees and they all had remarkably shallow roots. I keep thinking about the words, “When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” How are my roots? Where do I need more strength? How can I be prepared for whatever comes next?

I think we all feel it, don’t we? We have storms coming.

September 11, 2020