The summer heat has arrived in Little Egypt. Also, a dangerous storm yesterday. We are already a bit concerned this time of year as on May 8, 2009, we suffered a Derecho. It was the worst storm in my memory of living in Southern Illinois and I have been doing so since 1962. The power was off for over a week and at Southern Illinois University my department had to prepare McAndrew Stadium by flashlight for an outdoor Commencement to be held the next day…under a brilliant sky of lightning. Our home received over 27 thousand dollars in damage. As a Friday afternoon Commencement was underway at Shryock Auditorium when the Derecho struck. Ancient massive trees were uprooted around Shryock and across Campus. When the proud parents and their glowing children entered the Auditorium it was calm…when they exited it looked like a bomb had gone off.

Life is funny when you think about it. The Shryock Attendees had only the joy of the special moment in their lives when they crossed the threshold of the Commencement Venue…when they exited over the same threshold…all around them had changed. We map out our lives and expect the map to be a faithful GPS. At times it is forced to recalculate… We are searchers on a Quest for spiritual meaning and purpose and the answer to The Secret. I enjoy hearing preachers and expositors and self-anointed prophets tell their congregations and whoever will listen to their passionate speech…that they have the answer and that they know for certain what awaits beyond this life.

The work required to recover after our Derecho was massive and time-consuming. There were no easy or pithy answers. No one called out and said follow me and I will rebuild your house or re-roof it or re-side it. No prognosticator cried out to the masses of we hot and tired people to just imagine that the trees were replanted and it would happen. Magical Thinking was not utilized.

So it goes with our Quest for Spiritual Understanding. The more we join hands and hearts together…the closer we get to…The Secret…

4 responses

  1. Stacey C. Johnson | Reply

    BJ, thank you for educating me to the term “derecho.” I had to look it up. That sounds really scary. I love how you moved from this terror to the final image of hands and hearts together.

    1. Thank you, my friend. I appreciate your kind words.

  2. I’ve not heard the term derecho before, and I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like. Thanks for sharing this story. I love the ideology of joining hands and hearts.

    1. Thank you, my friend.

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