Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Winter's Tale

Cheryl Oreglia

"I am... a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles." Winter's Tale

Today started out in a deep fog, both within, and without. The drive to work took extreme caution, I was unable to see anything beyond a few hundred feet (my best guess), the landscape seemed to disappear behind an inexplicable dense mist, right out of Stranger Things. It was freaking me out. The good news is traffic was light, speeds slowed, and most drivers were intensely focused. Total bonus, I arrived at work five minutes early. 

The weather often masquerades as my personal prophet, calling me back to myself, offering an intrinsic wisdom all it's own, and much to my despair, mirroring my personal disposition. The fog, lack of clarity, the missing landmarks that usually dictate my direction, if not my sense of place and well-being, are simply gone. I’m a little lost but aren't we all? Life is not stagnate, it moves, adapts, reconfigures. The minute I get attached to a person, place, or thing it disappears (sometimes physically), but most often I’m no longer able to see it in the same form of which I'm accustomed. Nature teaches me to detach and I don't like it one bit. I'm innately opposed to change, weather permitting, I would wear the same outfit every day. This is not something I put on my resume but clearly note worthy as a writer. 

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

When I think about the crazy weather patterns currently bombarding my state (California), the relentless storms, widespread flooding, and most recently the erosion of an emergency spillway at the Lake Oroville dam. This spillway is a pathway for excess water to drain when the reservoir is filled to the brim, designed to keep the dam safe from being over-topped by water. (Don't I wish we had the same spillway for the deluge of hostility currently flooding my social media accounts.) This is the first time the spillway has been put to use since the dam was completed in 1968. It peaked my interest in an odd sort of way, so I snooped around, and discovered nine unforgettable events that happened in 1968, at the exact same time this precautionary spillway was being created, a spillway designed to manage the overflow of unprecedented "weather," so to speak. These events changed the history of the world and I believe they are worthy of our collective view today.
  1. North Korea captures the USS Pueblo
  2. North Vietnam launched the Tet (the holiday when the north and south honored an informal truce) offensive against the United States and South Vietnam
  3. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee
  4. Robert F. Kennedy assassinated in Los Angeles, California
  5. Boeing introduces the first 747 "Jumbo Jet
  6. Richard Nixon became the thirty-seventh president
  7. U.S. athletes take a stand at the Summer Olympics
  8. "Star Trek" airs American television's first interracial kiss
  9. Apollo 8 is the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon

Oh my, oh my, "the more things change, the more they stay the same," Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. We have yet to overcome racism, defuse global hostilities, harness technology, mediate political conflict, or curb gun violence. We're in the middle of a political shit storm which drags me right back to the scriptures. “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that is was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?' He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still! Then the wind died down and was completely calm." [Mark 4] Prophets appear (or wake up) when chaos peaks because we're in need of new direction. Jesus rebukes the disciples for their resistance to his teachings and lack of faith. "We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now," Martin Luther King warns. The wisdom of prophets is often realized long after they suffer intense opposition and premature death. When will we wake up?

The headline today reads “A nation divided by weather.” I think our divisions run much deeper than the weather, Martin Luther King teaches, "I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight... that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." The challenge he puts to us all is one of personal integrity and faith. Will we ever be culpable of calming our own storms?

“Rain makes me feel less alone. All rain is, is a cloud- falling apart, and pouring its shattered pieces down on top of you. It makes me feel good to know I'm not the only thing that falls apart . It makes me feel better to know other things in nature can shatter.” ― Lone Alaskan Gypsy

I'm Living in the Gap, visitor always welcome, drop by anytime. 


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

I'm in the Poconos. I deal with lots of snow. And it depresses me. My mood is directly affected by the temperature outside. Come talk to me in May.

Cheryl Oreglia said...

Hang in there Kimberly, the spring is edging closer and closer. It's amazing how the sun illuminates ones mood. Thanks for reading!

Brenda St John Brown said...

I love the quote from the Lone Alaskan Gypsy, but I have to say, I'm with Kimberly on this one. I live in NW England where it rains and rains and rains, so when the sun comes it's completely restorative.

Cheryl Oreglia said...

Thanks for reading Brenda! By February I'm also ready for a little sunny restoration especially with all the rain we've had in California this year! On the brighter side all our resoviors are full and I can shower without guilt!

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