I’m listening to and watching the wind blow like crazy outside. The sky is bright blue, the sun is shining, the river is full due to the steady rain from yesterday and I love it all. This is fall in Iowa. We complain because there is too much rain or too much heat or too much wind – too much cold or every other thing, but in truth … we have had a wonderful summer and a gorgeous fall so far. For some reason or other, we expect every day to be perfect, but these days that aren’t quite so perfect give us that much more appreciation for those that are. We should appreciate more than we complain.
When did we become such weather wimps? One day does not a season make. One of the characters in my books finally had it with Iowa winters and moved to the southwest. Last winter was brutal. I hadn’t seen so many below-zero days in a long time. But as much as I might have complained, I would never leave this. It’s my home and when spring came, it exploded with green and lush growth – leaving behind all of the cruelty of those frozen days and nights.
Life is an adventure and sometimes it seems as if the weather drags us onto rickety rope bridges that cross deep chasms … adventures we don’t want to face. I need to quit complaining about it … even when my well pit freezes because there is no snow cover to keep the ground temperate or when I lose power for four hours because the winds have blown power lines down … when the A/C quits working in the middle of the single heat wave of the summer or the river rises and fills my meadow. All of these things are temporary and when I look back over a lifetime of living in the Midwest, I realize that some of the best memories are around those experiences. I lived through them. I rose above them. I learned something about myself in each of them.
When I was very young, my father’s hearing was negligible. He relied on Mom to wake him if a bad storm was coming. He made going to the basement exciting for us kids, rather than terrifying.
Then one day he met a doctor who told him that one small surgery would return his hearing. Mom and Dad grabbed the opportunity. Everything was about to change in our lives … including how Dad experienced weather.
One night just after surgery, he woke Mom in a panic, telling her that they needed to get to the basement. A terrible storm was coming. She rolled over, woke enough to listen and told him to go back to sleep. For the first time in his life, he was hearing a breeze. Not wind … just a breeze. He took great pleasure in that moment and I’ll never forget that story. Sometimes we listen so hard for the storm, that’s what we hear … when in actuality it is just a breeze.
Now for this week’s progress. It was a good week. Stories are advancing. I know they aren’t advancing nearly fast enough for some of you – not for me either, but it was a good week.