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The weather
is not something
separate.
It is not something that happens
to us.
It is part of the thing
that we are a part of.
It affects everything
and we affect everything
in this one planet,
one organism,
one life.
The weather is especially dramatic
this year,
as the largest tornado
ever
recorded in the United States—
2.6 miles wide,
298 mph winds—
blew through El Reno, Oklahoma,
last Friday night;
following a tornado a week before
that was not quite as big
but that blew through a more populated area.
Thousands of people,
birds,
animals
are without their homes.

Because parts of Oklahoma—
the panhandle
and the southwest corner—
have not received the rains,
Oklahoma is still in a drought;
those parts in an “exceptional-extreme”
drought.
Our area has received rains—
not the gulley-washers—
but an inch or an inch and a half
or a couple of inches
every day or two.
The land here is now categorized
as only a “severe” drought.
We are still edgy
about what the summer will bring,
but we haven’t been this saturated with water
for a couple of years
and the fear
of what life in a desert will be like
has, at least momentarily,
subsided.
We speak many times a day
with humble appreciation,
deep gratitude
about how beautiful the land is
right now.
We see with a full heart,
we know in our bones,
the dramatic,
life-giving,
soul-soothing
gift
of rain.

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