Sunday, September 14, 2008
All Signs Fail in Times of Drought
The wind has been blowing up quite a gale today and I've been watching Weather.com and an advancing "back door" band of rain from the dregs of Hurricane Ike. The major rains have gone up into Illinois but we desperately need some here, too, in south-central Kentucky. As I checked the radar a few minutes ago (with that useful "in motion" feature) I see that the rain bands are dissipating as they advance to the northeast. Perhaps the wind is too strong and the air too hot. I have been hoping for their arrival all day but now see them evaporate before my eyes. Maybe we will get some of Ike if it moves to the east just a bit.
Since we have returned to Kentucky in early August we have only had a few days of rain. The weather patterns seem to favor the Ohio River Valley and fronts will swoop up and around us to the west.
Weather has always fascinated me--I watch the skies and the radars with great interest. I believe, like my skills for map-reading and directional savvy, I inherited this from my father who liked to watch the heavens and the weather patterns, too, even though his job was in a bank. My brothers are in weather-dependent jobs: one is a pilot, the other works on ski patrol at a major resort. Our mother lives to be outdoors in her garden. Studying the weather is a way of self-orientation, of knowing where we are and what will be.
The other day we were visiting our Mennonite friends at their farm where my husband was helping to "fill silo" and I was helping with the preparations of the noon dinner for over 20 people (I'll write about that soon). When I commented at how the clouds were building and rain seemed imminent, and then failed, Anna said, "All signs fail in times of drought." I had heard this expression before but never understood its true meaning.
I believe that more often than not, all signs of hope fail in times of personal hardship. It can be hard to see ahead of the struggles in our midst. Farmers learn to take things one day at a time by necessity as there is only so much in their control. I suppose this fatalistic attitude is useful as there is only so much in our lives that we can manage from personal choice.
It is my hope that this country does not fail, either, when there are so many hardships facing our nation right now, too. Hard economic and social realities that are filtering down into our homes. We need to make "family first" before we can make "Country first." The leadership of our country has been letting us down and we can't be fooled by the jargon we are now hearing.
So, whatever the political weather and storms ahead, I plan to write more, bake and cook more and be more present--for myself and my family. Fill the pantries. Because that is really all I can do about it.
Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.
from the Thanksgiving hymn Come, Ye Thankful People, Come by Henry Alford, 1844