Monday, June 24, 2013

Surviving life's storms

Creek bank reinforced by stones
We were hit by severe weather these past few days in the Twin Cities.  Many inches of rain and strong winds, up to 60 mph, wreaked havoc on the power system and flooded many a basement.  More than a half of a million people were without power over the course of the weekend, twice the number of the previously largest power outage.

As a commissioner for the Bassett Creek Watershed I was pleased to see a recently completed stone creek bank reinforcement project holding fast amidst the raging flood waters.  This effort greatly reduced the erosion that would have otherwise occurred.

Family garden nearby Bassett Creek after the flooding
With my gardening hat on I was thrilled to see a garden, only about 30 yards from Bassett Creek, that had been totally flooded the previous day, still seemingly no worse for the wear a day later.

Our family was without electrical power the last two and half days. However, as I type this blog entry I'm using a gas powered generator that I borrowed from some friends at church.  They also delivered the generator, complete with a full tank of gas.

So, what do these observations have in common?  They speak to ways in which we are more likely to survive some of life's inevitable storms.

Storm damage
First, having your life reinforced, with a firm foundation, like the stones on the the creek banks, keeps one from being swept away when the massive currents come charging. Core values and beliefs can help to anchor us through tough times.

Secondly, when we are well rooted, even when we're seemingly going to be drowned or swept away, we can still survive, and perhaps thrive despite the adverse conditions. A healthy appreciation of our history and heritage can aid us as we seek to ride out the storms. Without such roots our lives may never come fully into fruition.

Lastly, at church yesterday I discovered the power of community to support people in their times of need.  What a wonderful thing it is for people to share of their resources to aid those in need. I certainly do appreciate the generosity of others at a time like this, and I believe that they also feel good about being able to help out.

With global climate change and an increasingly volatile national and world economy, it seems we are all going to experience a multitude of storms throughout our lives.  Let's do what we can to be prepared, and also to help our neighbors as we are able, for we never know when we might also be on the receiving end.

PS  I was thrilled also to be on the giving end this past weekend; raking the yard of an elderly neighbor and sawing up a fallen tree branch for some good friends.

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