The wind bullied the trees into submission, forcing them to bow at its whim. Lightning ignited the heavens. Thunder commanded the clouds. Rain slanted toward the earth. As the storm kicked in, the electricity kicked off.
Ordinarily, I’m not afraid of storms. I turn the lights out, if we still have electricity, whip the curtains wide open, and sit with a bowl of popcorn to watch the show.
But this storm was different. This one came months after the last. Temperatures have soared over a hundred for sixty straight days. The pond is all but dry. The grass is brittle. The trees are shedding leaves and branches. The bulk of the state is an inferno waiting to happen.
I’ve been hearing reports of fires, both in the East Texas and in the Brazos Valley where Mom lives. Similar reports are probably statewide. It takes nothing to spark a wildfire these days. And with the trees as weak as they are, a strong wind can make one fall over, crash into a home or snap an electrical wire. And if lightning strikes a pine, it could blow up like a Roman candle. Strong flames trump light rains–even when they’re falling at a slant.
Since our house is surrounded by trees–and pines–my reaction to this latest storm varied from previous times.
The power went off almost immediately, while the temperature was still 105. The good news is that it waited until after I talked with Mom and after I’d printed out my manuscript. The even better news is that the temperature fell fast, bottoming out at 78 degrees.
I ran from window to window, praying for God’s protection over our house and neighborhood. “No fires, please! No trees slamming into the house or taking out lines. Please protect us!” I hadn’t been that afraid of a storm since Hurricane Ike crashed through.
Then, even while the storm raged, my spirit calmed, and I knew through that peace that passes understanding that we would be okay. Yes, trees fell on our ten acres, but not a one near the house. Somewhere nearby, a tree took out a power line, but since the power was off anyway, it didn’t spark a fire.
When nature settled, I did too–right in front of the windows with a good book and a battery-operated radio. Country music, commercials, and weather reports kept me company. Author Janice Thompson kept me entertained. Fear had long passed. Prayers were answered even before the storm was spent. God is good.