We moved to Arizona for sunshine and dry heat, driven away by the depressing gray clouds of Chicago which hovered low over my head, giving me headaches and lethargy.
My experience contrasted with C-boy’s future wife P-Dil,s who rejoiced in the rain when she moved from her childhood home in Arizona to Chicago. She astonished her Starbucks colleague, running outdoors whenever the clouds burst.
After 27 years in Arizona, I get it. When the rains come, we head outside. I sit on the patio, enjoying the pattering sound, the smell of moist dirt, and feel of the moisture watering the earth. When younger and unconnected to electronics, the boys would head out front on their bikes or scooters, splashing through puddles as we kept our eyes alert for the threat of lightning. Their joy was energizing.
The high heat of summer broke this week, allowing me to enjoy the outdoors as clouds rolled in during a late afternoon. The sunset added an orange tinge to the slight green of the gray clouds, reminding me of tornado weather in the Midwest.
A breeze blew and birds continued to sing, sure signs that a tornado was not imminent. I sensed a longing for turbulent skies that sent us scurrying to safety in the neighbor’s basement. And the relief when the storm passes safely by and we emerged to compare stories with friends.
I am not glib. Having taken shelter during warnings and seen funnels form at a distance, I take tornados seriously. Violent weather generates humility. I am small and powerless. But I also sense something bigger than myself, bigger than the earth, bigger than politics, and covid, and religion. It is the something that exists beyond but connects us. One might call it God.