Fearing A Familiar Sound
Enough already. I’m sitting at my home computer hearing the ominous sound of thunder in the distance. My phone is blowing up messages left and right from the various weather apps. These messages, too, are ominous. Flood watches, then flood warnings. Storm watches and then warnings. I don’t need the phone to tell me what is about to happen in my backyard. It’s getting darker by the second. I glance out the window and can see the clouds overtaking the sky, blocking out any hope of being spared from the impending rain.
The birds at the feeder are racing to catch one last nibble before the deluge comes. And then it does. In ear-pounding drops, the rain reaches a crescendo to beat the band. I am ready, I think. All windows and doors are closed to this menacing storm. The flashlights are amply supplied with fresh batteries. I light one candle in the event I am suddenly plunged into darkness. Extra bags of ice are tucked in the freezer in case the power goes out and coolers are needed to save the ice cream.
As the rains fails to let up, I walk to the front door, open it and look out. I can barely see the tree line across the meadow. The rain is thick, relentless. The clouds are so low they form fog over the property. The wind is not so bad but we put the flag pole down as a precaution. The trees, however, start to bend with the weight of the water pouring down their branches. Two trees fell the day before under the stress of these constant rain storms. Remnants of their once stately lives lie cut into pieces on the side of the road, wood chips strewn across the pavement. I fear more will follow and be lost.
The night inches by and we see and hear the reports of the menacing flood water in parts of Marshall County and other areas across the mighty Ohio. The same streets, the same structures, the same lives being tormented once again by an unmerciful Mother Nature.
It doesn’t matter, it seems, whether you live on the hilltops or in the valleys. These weather events affect us all in some way. Homes and businesses are damaged or destroyed. Roads are washed out or made difficult for travelers.
The police scanner is busy with urgent chatter among first responders and 911 operators. The reports keep coming in about flooded streets and the need for police and fire apparatus to block roads that are now posing a danger to anyone who dares drive on them. Weather updates are shared. There are a lot of moving parts to managing and directing that which is needed to help people in situations such as this.
I think about the children who shiver with fear every time they hear a clap of thunder or rain on the roof. How do you calm those fears when you, too, are quietly screaming inside?
Please, Mother Nature, give us a break.
Ziegler can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.