The storm before the calm? Note to self: when using hood for a tripod, avoid the antenna!
Nap time
Thank you, Lord, for this bug I am about to eat. Amen.

Storms of Life

I sit on the back steps, a storm brewing, inside and out. Where a blanket of humidity cloaked me a few minutes earlier, a strong breeze has now cleared the mugginess, and the mosquitoes. 

I think of injustices, of those who are down and out and the kicks keep coming. 

The clanging of the neighbor’s chimes increases. Acorns being hurled toward the ground bounce off the fiberglass patio cover with a bang, along with a few weakened branches, mortally wounded by Irene’s visit. 

The wind continues to pick up, leaves are tossed briskly about, across the yard, across the neighborhood, maybe. 

The birds chirp a rapid warning song amidst the darkness that gathers over their habitat. A cardinal pair stops by for a quick meal before the storm arrives in fullness and they must flee for cover. 

The rhododendron were damaged when the neighbor’s oak was removed. They didn’t like their new environment, baked by a relentless summer sun. I tired of crunchy leaves appearing daily, and today, I put an end to their suffering. And my suffering, by cutting back the ugliness. Now they are nothing more than bare sticks protruding from the ground like a modern sculpture.

All that's left after a branch fell on it

The injuries to the butterfly bush, beaten and broken by Irene, are becoming more evident as the leaves wither. My mind’s eye compares the now-torn-to-pieces perennial to it’s pre-hurricane plushness. I mourn its loss.

I walk nearer, for a closer look. What I find, is life. Fresh blooms, bees, butterflies. Though its soul has suffered, its spirit thrives and gives life to those who come seeking sustenance. Looks can be deceiving. What might have been cut off and cast aside, beckons with all it has left to offer. 

Once again, my mind returns to the still-increasing wind gusts, the darkening of the sky, and I look heavenward.  

And my spirit is renewed with hope. The butterfly bush still manifests life from its weary, storm-battered branches, so can I. And so can you. 

Hungry and thirsty, they fainted; their lives were near to being extinguished. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. Psalm 107:5-6