After a typical wet and mild Spring we are now in the throes of Summer. In April my yard looked like a magazine cover, lush green grass, flowers blooming, bushes and trees plump and full. Today, dry, brown and crunchy. This is what you get when the days are mid to upper nineties and it hasn’t rained in three weeks.
In the Western half of the United States wild fires are raging. In the Midwest, tornadoes and other severe weather struck overnight. My state, like many states, is dealing with severe drought. What do tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, floods and wild fires all have in common? As smart as we humans think we are we can’t control any of these natural events. We can, at times, predict them but there is nothing we can do to eradicate them. We are simply at the mercy of Mother Nature.
I mentioned to one of my readers that we are just guest on this earth, a fact I firmly believe. Unfortunately we treat this planet as if we own it. How can we own something we have absolutely no control over or regard for? Have you ever seen the mass destruction of a hurricane? I have, Hugo, September 22, 1989. The following week my wife and I drove from Charleston, SC to Pawleys Island, SC stopping in McClellanville, SC a town ripped to shreds by this massive storm. Though my in-laws beach house was spared, the house directly across the street was left in a pile of splinters, exploding from the inside out. When it made its way inland it wreaked havoc on the Rock Hill/Fort Mill, SC area turning north into Charlotte, NC where I had family hunkered down in the dirt crawl space of their home. The force, the energy of this storm was chilling, humbling and deadly.
Twenty-seven years later just the memory remains and posters you can find in sovereign shops. Charleston is experiencing a building boom like it has never experienced. New apartment complexes are squeezed into every nook and cranny developers can find on the peninsula. The house across the street from my in-laws beach home was rebuilt bigger and grander than before.
The wild fires in the west are being battled because they threaten human advancement, cities, towns, homes and businesses that were built-in an area that a thousand years ago fires such as these restored the natural order of nature. There is a natural order, humans, with all their smarts, tools and ambition disrupt this order, we try to tame it in the name of “progress” rather than living within it, among it and accepting it.
You don’t think we are just guest? Stand in the middle of the street in “downtown” McClellanville, SC and turn 360 degrees one week after Hugo struck like I did. Today, plaques, books, t-shirts and posters remind us of the story of this destructive storm but the lessons we learned from this experience are few and fading. Hurricane season officially began on June 1st and will end on November 30th. Living in a hurricane state, with friends and family on its coast I will hold my breath until it is over.
We are just guest. I wish we would act like it sometimes.