Okay, that's enough.
I just woke up, opened the blinds on this Memorial Day morning, all ready to go to an outdoor breakfast and then come back to work in my yard, and there is SNOW on the ground. Yes, snow -- the cold, white, fluffy stuff associated with Christmas celebrations and sledding and shoveling -- activities anticipated half a year away during November, December, January, etc.
Everyone's had it with this weather.
Last night I laid awake for a while, listening to the rain pounding on the roof, trying to imagine the dread that sound must invoke in those folks who've sandbagged their homes and are trying to figure out what else they can possibly do to stem the tide. The answer is, not much, since water faithfully runs to the lowest point, no matter who gets hurt. I wondered how it could get any worse for them -- these days and weeks and now months of wet weather.
Now we know. That snow out there is being pelted by rain, which will melt it into water, which will then run down streets and mountainsides and swell those rivers even more.
I checked on my garden, ruined now. The dozen tomato plants, which had managed to grow a little despite the lack of sunshine, can't possibly survive snow. Anyone who's ever raised a garden would know that struggling tomatoes plants with yellowed leaves weighed down by snow are unquestionably doomed.
Moms are stressed with this endless deluge because little children are like tomato plants -- they need sunshine to thrive. One mom I recently visited with said that if the sun doesn't shine soon, she's going to go crazy along with the kids. You can play Chutes and Ladders only so many times before your brain turns to mush, she said. And anyone who's raised kids knows the absolutely worse setting for siblings is to be cooped up in one place for a long time. Nothing spawns arguing and teasing faster than that.
Those problems are nothing like the difficulties local folks face who live near swollen creeks and rivers. So many evidences of challenge and heartbreak abound: sandbagged homes and outbuildings; entire pasturelands under water, some with cattle and horses standing along slightly elevated fence lines with nothing to do but wait for their feed to be brought to them; fields sitting muddy and empty where grain and livestock feed should be heartily growing; water gushing out of previously dry ravines; standing ponds and lakes where none should exist. It's kind of like gaining weight -- nature just packs the extra here and there wherever she can find room, and it finally hits you that things are drastically different from what they should be.
It does no good to whine about this weather, of course. We're just scrawny human beings clinging to this giant mass of dirt, totally subject to the whims of the weather. The fact that short of praying, we really can't do anything to affect a change is a painful reminder of just how puny we really are.
There is, of course, a larger picture to consider. Expanding our view a bit, we soon realize our soggy situation pales in comparison to those areas across the nation where folks have lost everything, some even their lives, to tornadoes and flooding. Entire cities are torn apart; entire counties are underwater.
And though we might not realize it, our lives are affected by their misery. Their situation prompts in us sympathy and a desire to help. And in months to come, we'll understand more fully how dependent we are on some of the things they produce for our consumption.
We really are more intertwined than we realize. Given that, probably the best way to spend my Memorial Day is to forego the outdoors breakfast, get over my decimated tomato plants, and go find someone who needs help sandbagging.
Because no man is an island. Even in all of this water. (Unless, of course, he's adequately sandbagged.)
You may contact D. Louise Brown at email@example.com or by calling her editor at 801-625-4223.