The bud that opened after the storm.

The bud that opened after the storm.

The roofing representative shouted down from our roof, “I can’t believe it. Your roof is the only roof I’ve been up on in this town that has no damage anywhere.”

These wild, wet weeks have brought many storms into our region with some areas getting pummeled frequently with high winds and damaging hail. The capricious nature of these clouds reminds me that sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time and sometimes you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Oh, you or I or anyone else can do whatever we can to prepare for the storms—such as buying the 50-year shingles that the insurance company liked—but if the clouds had burst directly over my home, even those shingles would have taken a hit—or several. Just a matter of luck that the center of the storm hit a couple miles south.

Though hail piled up in corners of our yard, our only losses came in three large rose blooms. Mother Nature had strewn rose-petaled confetti across the wet blades of grass, but the rosebush itself, as well as the unopened buds—nearly two dozen—escaped disaster. Earlier in the spring, only dead canes remained after a winter and spring that were both colder than we had seen around here in years. Imagine my joy when new growth surprised me out of grieving for this bush I had received just three years earlier to honor my mother’s memory. Imagine my relief a few weeks later when I saw the storm’s fury had spared the long-term growth.

As the sky starts to change and darken again, I know that what will happen is mostly out of my hands. Very little I do or do not do will make me more or less deserving of what could happen. It’s all a matter of barometric pressure changes, moisture indices, geography, timing, and other factors—there is nothing personal in those clouds. (At least I prefer to believe that the Big Guy isn’t personally lobbing lightning bolts at any of us.)

Disaster-preparedness makes sense but can’t always keep the storms away. Life is lived more in figuring out how to weather the storms that do come rather than in assuming that they can all be avoided. Great shingles or not, it’s what you do after the storm that matters.

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