This month, which also notes our first two months in Minnesota, began with a dilly of a storm.  It began last night about eleven p.m. and raged all night, often with thunder that seemed stuck into one long  cascading vroom, rolling and rolling on and on and on.  And just as the reverberations of the bolts all mushed together, the lightning too flashed continuously – one long night of neon explosions gone mad.  By morning I began to wonder if it would ever pass.

Whenever there has been an electrical storm my first thought has been for the grand and stately Ash which I look up and into from my meditation room.  It’s at the highest point on the property and it would sorely be the most missed if we were to lose any tree at all.  It never seemed in the night that the wind picked up too severely, but when I finally dragged my sleep deprived and electrically tensed body to the morning window it was not the worst sight I could have seen, but it did strike fear at the possibility we narrowly escaped.

The Ash was still standing but of all the trees in the garden, had sustained a loping off of one  large limb which, as it crashed, had taken down the wires from the cornerside utility pole.  Ottertail Power has been out to inspect and now we are waiting for them to return to put the lines back in place.  It could have been a much, much worse disaster if we had lost the entire tree, but it did put into perspective the very vulnerability which made me anxious in the first place.

It’s now early afternoon on this first day of August,  and the sun is peeking through the clouds at just this brief and shining moment, but Sven is intoning on and on about the coming severe thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow which are deemed to be far more intense than the interminable previous evening.

Calling on all spirits of the Mighty Ash!

Upon hearing that we’re California wusses, many people pointingly snicker about our yet-to-be-experienced Winter.   Whether they speak it out loud, or just knowingly nod, I can hear the “You’ll see” loud and clear.  And I’m sure they’re right.  I can’t even imagine the scope of a blizzard.  Or the down to the bone chills of winter.  Or sliding about on an ice slick road.  Or having to shovel the driveway.  But thanks to loyal compatriots like Susan and Mary Lou who have repeatedly given us the hi-ho sign and inferred that “we can do it!” and new friends like Katy who proclaims to love winter and asks if we cross-country – I’m holding a positive thought and hoping that all of my Norwegian genes shine forth.

But I must admit that this double cell, tornado prone, bang and crash and flash, accompanied by the heaviest air most likely on the planet – is a bit disconcerting.  Aunt Lilah says that it hasn’t always been like this.  And Aunt Lil says that she has only had to go to the basement three times in all the years she has lived in the ancestral home in Hickson and two of them have been this summer.  And that could be reassuring if I were not so sure that it most likely is the new normal.

So today I will say a prayer to the devas of the Mighty Ash –

And enjoy the Echinicea which suddenly appeared.

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