The Lightning-Struck Tower

The reason lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place is that the same place isn’t there the second time. ~Willie Tyler

If I’ve learned nothing else from this week’s outbreak of severe weather, it is this: Life is precious and should never be taken for granted.
Witness the catastrophic damage here in places like Alabama, Indiana and Kansas from this week’s storms. Imagine how many lives have been torn apart. And that’s just one day’s worth. This year in weather seems to be shaping up much the way 2011 did, with tornadoes causing devastation in places from Joplin, Missouri to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It’s early yet, which is scary. And I know that those photos of people and destoyed homes could just as easily be from my neighborhood.

As it turns out, they were in my neighborhood today. Not tornadoes, thank God (they passed largely to my north and east), but lightning.

I’ve jokingly said to friends before that I wouldn’t be too saddened if my house burned to the ground. It’s got a laundry list of maintenance issues and I’ve been wanting a smaller, more energy-efficient place for literally years now. Turns out it’s a bad idea to speak of such things, even in jest. One of the houses on my cookie-cutter street in my boring suburban neighborhood actually did get hit by lightning and catch fire today. The fire department, the cops, the TV news, and half the neighbors showed up.

If I had to guess, I’d say God was sending me a message that it’s never a good idea to talk about things like that so lightly. And I’m an agnostic.

Maybe I do want a change in my living arrangements. Few of us wouldn’t. But there are people out there tonight, right now, who have had their entire lives turned upside down by nature’s terrible forces. They may never recover from their losses. Some even lost their lives. An entire town in Indiana was wiped off the map. Me? I have a warm bed tonight, electricity, running water, my trusty laptop, and a lot of leftover chow mein. Plus, I still have a roof over my head that only leaks once in a while.

I’d say I have a lot for which to be thankful. And it sometimes takes a literal message from God to make me remember that.

To all those in the path of the severe weather: Stay safe tonight and know I’m thinking of you.

Coming this weekend: The results of “33 Films, 33 Years” and a review of Moneyball from an Aspie point of view. Also, be sure to click “Like” if you enjoyed this post and add us to your blogroll!


~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on March 2, 2012.

8 Responses to “The Lightning-Struck Tower”

  1. So, I want to hit the ‘like’ button, but I worry it would be in bad taste. While the majority of the bad weather is passing us by (though we’re supposed to get more than an inch of rain tomorrow), my little brother is in an area that’s been plagued with the tornadoes this week and we haven’t heard from him in a few days. It’s entirely possible that he’s just without power, but it’s still worrying. I have other friends across the state of Tennessee that are having their own issues with the weather this week too. I’ve got everyone in my pocket…it’s pretty bulgy right now.

  2. Of course 10:04 PM on November 12th was the first thing that popped in my head when I saw the title of this.

    I used to fear storms more than I feared anything else, but I’ve come to love watching lightning and hearing the torrential downpour bash at my windows. The fact that the same weather I’ve come to enjoy is potentially ruining someone else’s moment/day/life rarely comes to mind when I’m enjoying the natural light show.

    I’m glad there are posts like this to remind me of the young boy coming home on the night of July 12, 1992 (I have a weird memory for specifics) and seeing houses crushed by trees, power lines down, and general mayhem everywhere. But I’m also glad I’ve overcome fears. Just need those moments that remind you to enjoy what you have. Don’t expect it to be taken away, but don’t take it for granted while you have it.

  3. I am just worried in general. It seems the weather is already shaping up to be bad this year, and it’s only March. We can only keep our thoughts up for everyone. I hope your brother is all right.

  4. LIked the writing, but was sorry to hear about the storms and your neighborhood fire. I hope the weather is kinder the rest of the season. I don’t watch the news, so I had no idea about all the damage to homes and lives. I hope everyone recovers and has support.

  5. It’s some scary weather. I live where tornado warnings happen frequently in the Spring but now it seems location and time of year have little to do with where tornadoes strike.

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