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Hartselle Enquirer
A. Ray Lee ss

Celestial fireworks

By A. Ray Lee


The pyrotechnics that usually light the sky and send a roar through the pines were mostly quiet out our way New Year’s Eve. Even the high-powered rifle that in times past had been fired in rapid bursts by the neighborhood Rambo – causing anxiety to man and beast – was silent. I am not sure why.  

New Year’s fireworks were delayed, but they would soon be unleashed in force.  

Jan. 1 came in without much ado, but the unseasonably warm temperature and the gusting winds from the South held a promise of major changes on the way. The red flags on the weather map indicated we were in the main path of projected storms.  

Still isolated because of lingering effects of COVID, I decided to hunker down behind the thick rock walls of my house and trust I would be safely sheltered.. 

Right on schedule during the evening hours, the storms came raging through. The skies were lit with a celestial firework show that far outshone that of A Capital Fourth or the lights of Times Square. Lightning bolts raced in jagged lines across the sky, accompanied by ensuing window-rattling booms.  

Then the heavens opened, and torrential rains – not unlike like those of Noah’s day – poured down. It seemed the storm raged for hours before finally moving on. 

Eventually I went to sleep to the rhythm of pelting rain upon the windows.  

When I awoke in the morning, I looked out on a tranquil sight. All was calm under rain-washed blue skies and a bright morning sun. The storms had passed, leaving dead tree limbs scattered around the yard.  

The water had drained away, washing leaves and accumulated debris into the Flint Creek bottoms.  

It reminded me I will soon need to take the Gravely for its annual service in preparation for the mowing season. Shrubbery and knockout roses will need trimming. There will be an abundance of pine straw to mulch their roots against the dry days of summer.  

The noise of the night will soon be forgotten by those who received little damage from its power; however, for those who received significant material and emotional damage, scars will long remain after nature has recovered.  

New storm shelters will be erected. There will remain latent anxiety when rough weather is predicted.  

Periodic storms are a part of nature. There is much we do not know about them. Sometimes they come unannounced, while at other times we are warned of their approach.  

They pass, and nature heals itself, covering its scars with new growth and changing seasons. The divine creator works his will and way through them.  

The prophet Nahum wrote: “The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm,” Nahum 1:3.