Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Ashbury

It’s time for my seasonal lapse into denial. You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that there are some things I like to pretend don’t exist. This is why, on this past Sunday, I told my beloved—and my street team—that I had awakened to discover a fine dusting of pollen on my car.

For the record, I know it was snow. I was just determined not to make that admission. Winter. Ugh, we all know it’s coming. For some, the knowledge that another winter will soon be here must be news they don’t want to hear, either. There are parts of the United States that have been hit almost constantly since last winter with devastating weather conditions. Some of you haven’t been able to catch a break.

No doubt about it, Mother Nature is definitely menopausal.

I know there are some things we can prepare for in life. We can have little survival “kits” stashed in the pantry with candles and the like, in case the power goes out. We can live frugally and prepare financially for life’s inevitable emergencies like sickness, unemployment, and car repairs.

But I don’t really know how one prepares for the horrific circumstance of losing everything.

I can tell you that my beloved and I didn’t prepare for it or expect it. We lost our home—twice, two different homes—to fire. And while in the end we recovered, in the midst of the situation, I remember thinking the same thing, both times: that at least none of us was hurt, or worst, killed. And I think that is how most people handle this sort of devastation. When horrific circumstances hit we look for that ray of sunshine, for something to focus on that’s good. It’s human nature, I believe, tied to the survival instinct. After all, it’s not just our bodies that need to survive, but our spirits as well.

Lives have been lost during the recent spate of flooding in the south. That’s hard, very hard to deal with for the families and the friends of the dead. For those whose loved ones were safe but who lost all they had, that they had survived was a blessing to cling to. They could at least rejoice in the safety of their family.

We’re in a period of climatic upheaval. Who can deny it?  Whether you believe that we’re on a path to previously unknown perils due to climate change brought about by human hubris, or you’re a hold out, believing that this is just a cycle like many others in our planet’s history, the truth is right now, our weather is unpredictable and nasty.

I’m thinking back to what life must have been like in ages past, when people began to explore and settle this continent, when they pushed westward into the unknown, seeking only the opportunity to carve out a life for themselves and their families. Uncertainty would have been a constant companion. There were no guarantees in life at all in those times.

We, in this age, have gotten “soft”. It is only in the last century that we’ve begun to expect fairness and prosperity; that we’ve begun to expect guarantees in life.

But the truth is we are human beings, and while we have learned to manipulate much of our immediate environment—not just the natural kind, but our circumstances in a socio-economic sense—we must remember one thing.

In the end, none of us can live forever—and none of us can control Mother Nature.


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