Ten Things of Thankful 157 (Stormy times) #TenThankful

Beyond the french windows, the garden seems alive; every leaf shimmering in the wind, and branches swaying in a tussling breeze as the evening decides whether or not to storm. A cacophony of summer birds blast their songs into the evening, flitting across the space between ground and sky, chirping, chirruping, whistling and warbling their evening missives to whomsoever has ears to listen. The patch of sky I can see is pale, eggshell blue, lit yellow with sunshine bouncing upwards from the tops of the enormous clouds which crowd the sky – a cumulonimbus convention over the South of England, occasionally threatening with a deep rumble of thunder, but silent now, for some time…watching over us. Waiting.

Yesterday there were storms of biblical proportions.

I drove into the heart of one as I brought the van back to work from my clinic, the first, ginormous, splattery raindrops on the windshield turning to a sprinkling, a thorough coating, a wall of water near-impossible to see through, even with the wipers on full blast, as the rain hurled itself venomously from the dark, ear-splitting skies.

There’s a tradition, with thunder and lightning, of counting seconds between the flash and the rumble, to see how far away the storm is (each second supposedly counting as one more mile away from where you are). At one point, driving upriver (up and downhill no longer existed on the roads, just flash-floods and watercourses) I counted as far as “One…” before the sky exploded above my head with a noise I think I felt, rather than heard.

Suffice it to say, cycling home, in spite of head-to-toe waterproofs, I got WET!

Thankful in Stormy Times - summat2thinkon.wordpress.com

In the garden yesterday, everything was muted, drenched by rain, bowed groundwards under its strength, under the weight of carrying its droplets. Roses leaned gracefully towards the floor and petals littered the ground, torn from their flower-heads by the force of the storm. The skies seemed malevolent, embodying dark powers gone mad, threatening violence.

It was, after all, just a storm. And in spite of sweet concerns from friends on t’other side of the Pond, I was okay going out in it again (togged further with wellie-boots, having shoved my shoes full of newspaper to dry them) because it was, after all, an English storm. It would bluster and threaten and throw a little lightning here and there, not to mention unleashing waterfalls on our foolish (yet perennial) hopes for a warm, dry summer, but it wouldn’t turn nasty.

I’m spoiled by temperance of climate, both natural and political.

I live in a country where the weather is greyish or coldish or wettish, and the best you can hope for is warmish and dryish for a few days before the rain comes again. I live in a country where people are liberalish or conservativeish or socialistish, and the stiff upper lip precludes the need for expressing too much opinion or emotion. I live in a country where dry humour and sarcasm are the norm, and people might snark, but rarely, rarely kill each other because of their fervency that the other is Wrong And Should Be Terminated.

It’s an ‘ish’ kind of place. We don’t DO horror or heinous crime or outpourings of joy. Our Queen had a birthday last weekend, a big one, and we celebrated nationally with sedate street parties, rolling eyes at the rain (because of course) and working up the gumption to add our voices to a Very Proper ‘Huzzah’ on behalf of Her Maj. We live in the kind of world where people huff and puff about Brexit and Stronger In, but we don’t really believe that the referendum could be worth someone actually blowing your house down. We crowd around, scuffling nervously, surveying the propaganda on both sides, wondering what could happen next. A national convention of temperates, waiting.

But now, in the quiet, stumbling aftermath of unspeakably awful things in the news, here, there, and everywhere…and the knowledge of those unspeakably awful things which go unreported…we need to DO. For Real.

More on that soon, in 1000Speak (on Monday, by the way, for any who want to join us raising voices in compassion), but for now, I’m thankful for things I’ve done, or seen done, this week. For connections made. For voices raised together against hatred. For voices united in love. For viewpoints shared respectfully. For people standing in solidarity. For helpers. For common bonds, however awful, which inspire togetherness and determination that Love WILL win. For kindness. For action. For sharing ways of making the world a better place for all of us, because we’re all in this together, and we so, SO need one another.

For being Stronger Together.

For humanity, in all its flaws, because it so very often triumphs in glorious, WONDERFUL ways.

For us, still here, still gathered in our community of thankfulness, cheering each other onwards.

And for all that we DO, for all that we CAN do, and all that we WILL do.

Thank you, each of you who reads here, for your marvellousness, your triumphs, your overcomings, your spirit, your sharing.

For you.


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37 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful 157 (Stormy times) #TenThankful

  1. I love thundery storms (to a point – having the lightning just above your head is a bit extreme). It seems like there is polarization and violence everywhere these days — but I wonder if it was there all along and we just didn’t realize it as much because we didn’t have instant access to the reports, the pictures, and the opinions. But while it can be so very scary, perhaps all of this information is a good thing. Perhaps, like a torrential downfall, it will either drown us or force us to channel all of that water into something useful, using it to power our efforts for change and to irrigate the growth of kindness and compassion? But I think we all long for sunnier days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that’s a gorgeous piece of imagery, Jana, and I really REALLY super a lot like the idea that we’ll be forced to actually DO something useful, which can relieve us all of the feeling of drowning.

      I think so much of the awfulness which exists, always has, but was less accessible – we just didn’t have the opportunity to see it. People have always been wicked to one another.

      Here’s hoping for sunnier days, and more people stepping up, willing to make a difference 🙂


  2. (This comment is basically in response to both this post as well as the compassion post you wrote. I read them back to back and am kinda combining them in my head.) 🙂

    With the invention of the internet, there seems to be so much talking. So much of people speaking up. Unfortunately, it’s plenty of speaking and shouting and not nearly enough listening. People are speaking up for what they believe, but not everyone believes the same things. Instead of listening to what the other side says, they just say their opinions louder and in a more obnoxious way. There is very little coming together to understand each other and find common ground. I’m getting tired of people speaking out.
    I’m thinking we need less talking and a whole lot more listening and doing. We need to get out of our phones and pay attention to what is going on around us. To quit critiquing everyone’s actions and simply jump in and help. To notice that woman at the store who is at the end of her rope with her kids and jump in with an encouraging word to her and a distraction for the misbehaving kids. To get out into the food pantries and and give people a reason to smile that week. To treat people with kindness, including those folks who aren’t exactly kind themselves.
    I’m glad you’ve seen viewpoints expressed respectively this week. I have seen precious little of it.

    I’m thinking the ishness of you English is pretty appealing these days. All of this over-the-topness on our side of the pond is exhausting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I’m sad you’ve had so much of the OTT bluster and bullying and aggression. I think what you say is absolutely right, and if there were anything I’d like to see a bit more of, is less soapboxing (even done respectfully and with good intentions) and more doing. I think I haven’t ‘done’ for too long, and I’ve forgotten how important it is, and become lost in the sound of my own voice. *sigh*

      Still. Gonna vote on Thursday, so there’s that…


  3. (as you know), I’m a big fan of being as opposed to the forces (and storms) of nature as possible, I suspect that, for me, as a clark, it’s a way to feel myself (in contrast to the sound, rain and fury of a right proper storm). There’s something that I suspect is found among out people, to fell ourself as the place where the titanic forces aren’t. Weird, I know… still not quite explaining it. Here’s an example: back in the day, when I would go to clubs to listen to a band play, I would enjoy standing stock still, amidst and among, the frenetic and energetic movement of the crowded dance floor, being pounded by the volume of the music (live band, ya know). I would…. appreciate something as I stood there, maybe about myself, or perhaps the simple fact of myself.

    …ya know?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually (and this won’t surprise you at all), I do. And it’s magnificent. A kind of quelling opposite to the scottian ‘join in and scream at the top of your voice, and run and shout and break things’ 🙂


  4. You really have a way with words. We do need to DO, but I think sometimes we become immobilized in thinking our small efforts don’t matter, when in fact each little act can make a difference. You do a great job encouraging us to do better at DOING. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, well…that’s WONDERFUL! I’m so glad, because sometimes I, too, think that whatever *I’m* doing (by writing etc) isn’t enough, either, and doesn’t really matter. It’s nice to know you think it DOES 🙂


  5. Pingback: SEASONS – Das Kranzbach – ladyleemanila

    • Hello Heidi, and thank you for your thoughts – life really can be a struggle to get through, and gratitude (even for small things) reminds us that amidst the challenge, there is beauty and goodness to be enjoyed.

      I love storms too – they are majestic and awesome (in the traditional sense of the word).


  6. Lizzie you write beautifully. Your description is so real I could SEE it. As for storms in humanity and horrific crimes here in S. Africa there is nothing ishish about us! Violence is the name of the game here. Only a section of humanity of course, but it spills over to affect us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Shirley – it has always been my hope to write in a manner which ‘Makes You FEEL’, and your feedback on my technique has brought a smile to my face.

      I’m so sorry to hear that S. Africa is so beset by horrific crimes. I once attended college with a chap from S. Africa, and the stories he told were mind-boggling, for us, in our safe, protected, English environment.

      Those sections of humanity seem to be increasingly overspilling, and their appalling actions generating a wider and wider impact. We need an uprising of love, compassion, and good behaviour, to counterbalance!


  7. Lizzi, when it comes to lovely writing of (mostly) lovely thoughts, you are not something-ish, definitely more than realish. Can I count something as a neologism just because spell check grumbles at it? No, I suppose I have to check for typo or actual miss spelling first. I do have to say that with all the nonishness we have going over here, an ishly inclined country sound rather attractive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dry humour and sarcasm are how I express myself too.
    The rain came the other day, here in my part of Canada, blowing and forcing and weighing down a plant next to my driveway. It’s done for I think, but at least my house is still standing. I don’t know what a bad storm is and I am thankful for that.
    All well said here Lizzi. So much has happened in the news here, so much so that I wondered about my post for Monday, but then we had a shot of much needed criminal justice here. A man was taken from his wife and daughter and today his killers were given a first degree murder charge and long prison sentence. It made my day, along with the day of so many others here in southern Ontario. Often, justice is not served. This time it was. I am thankful today for that.
    Looking forward to your 1000 Speak post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • On the other hand y’all get it so cold it turns coffee to SNOW in seconds if you spill it, right? I’m glad the storm left your house in one piece.

      I’m SO GLAD to hear that justice was done, and the system worked. FOR ONCE! Or, I suppose, for once in a really important way, on a big case. GOOD!

      1000Speak is going to be a tough one this time around, I think, but I have some seedling thoughts. 🙂

      Sarcasm is awesome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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