The city’s severe-weather sirens have been sounding intermittently for the past 20 minutes or so; just moments after my sweetie left the house for the night to play poker with the guys. I don’t get too hung up about the weather – after all, what can I do about it? If hail is predicted, I make sure the car is in the garage, I shut the windows, and I hope that it doesn’t destroy too many screens. If strong winds are in the forecast, I make sure all of the trash cans and patio furniture pieces are secure, I shut all the windows, and I hope no trees fall on the house. If (God forbid) a tornado were to arrive, I would haul my rear end down to the basement bathroom, shut the door, clutch a pillow, and hope my body doesn’t get damaged.
Still, when the severe-weather siren does sound (even for ‘just’ a bad thunderstorm), it’s always a little unsettling to be home alone.
When the siren sounded tonight for the third time in ten minutes, I looked out all of the various windows of the house. I saw a dark gray sky and some semi-strong wind, but no hail, or green sky, or funnel clouds. When I got to the window that overlooks our front yard, I saw two neighbors across the street. They were standing in their driveway, also looking for weather signs, and talking to one another. Clearly I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but in that moment of my looking out and seeing these two men, a realization came to me: I’m not alone.
If (again, God forbid) something terrible were to happen, and my sweetie wasn’t here, certainly I would be stressed out and scared, but I’m not alone. I can go to neighbors, and they will help me. Neighbors can come to me, and I will help them. While our neighbors aren’t our “friends” (in the sense that we don’t hang out together, we don’t eat meals together, we don’t play cards together, etc.), we all are people who will care for each other when push comes to shove, should something big and scary arrive that affects us all.
Tonight, I got a reminder that in this whole big complicated deal called “life”, I am never alone. It may feel that way sometimes, but truly, I am never alone. I didn’t really understand that until just now. Wow. It’s a tough way to receive a message, but what a wonderful message to receive.
A severe storm isn’t a ‘typical’ reason to smile, I suppose; but this disturbance ended up being reassuring nonetheless.