Nature’s Fury – A Late Spring Meditation

Storms and devastation seem to be all around us this spring, especially in my home state of Oklahoma. It is good to pause, and think about the fact that this is the way it has always been. A calm peaceful day where you live may be the scene of a natural disaster some place else. We live each day with the possibility of these disasters.

Today, think on this writing about Nature’s Fury, by John A. Murray, editor of The Quotable Nature Lover.

Murray writes: “For every tranquil day at Edward Hopper’s lighthouse on Cape Cod there is one filled with Winslow Hoer’s terrible shipwrecks. For every uneventful summer afternoon in the sunflower fields of western Kansas there is one in which tornadoes drop from the sky and flatten unsuspecting towns. For every family album photograph of Mount St. Helens still wrapped in old growth forest there is one in which it seems a nuclear bomb has just been detonated.

“One recalls the infamous April 1, 1946, tidal wave in the Aleutian Islands that swept an entire coast guard base out to sea, and five hours later drowned 159 people in Hawaii and then went on to assault the coast of Chile; or the August 26, 1883 Krakatoa explosion that darkened skies on the other side of the Earth and cooled the northern hemisphere for several years (devastating, among other things, the cattle business of Charlie Russell’s Montana); or the impact crater in the open desert near Winslow, Arizona, sizable enough to swallow the skyline of Manhattan, left apparently by a meteor.”

Murray goes on to discuss the major fire of 1988 in Yellowstone National Park, and to relate incidents where scientists and researchers fascinated by nature were accidentally killed while pursuing knowledge of what they loved. These stories are often repeated, even most recently last weekend when three storm chasers lost their lives during a tornado near El Reno, Oklahoma.

Nature often devastates, but it also replenishes.

Murray concludes with this: “I am continually amazed at the restorative powers of nature. And that is so often the deeper lesson of nature’s fury — that in our universe destruction is powerfully wed to creation.”

My prayers are with those who have experienced the devastation, and it is my sincere hope that you experience peace and renewal in the coming days.

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