Remember how I wrote last week ... and the week before ... and the week before ... about all the rain we've been having? About how I was sure Noah was returning and at any moment I would see the Ark floating past my window? Well I was wrong. It wasn't last week, or any of the weeks before ... it was this week. This week we went from heavy rain and downpours to actual walls of rain so heavy it was like trying to look through thick fog. Roads and streets were flooded not to mention basements. Our annual big-deal attraction, the Dick's Sport Goods Open Golf Tournament, which takes place just down the street from me was in danger of being cancelled since there was 6 inches of water on half the golf course. Blake Shelton was coming in to do an outdoor concert and it was anybody's guess whether it would go off as planned. The worst of it was being stuck in the house day after day. A little rain I can handle. You just put on your sneakers, grab an umbrella and head out. Walls of water - not so much. And if my being stuck in the house was frustrating, imagine the kids, home from school, also stuck in the house. My grandchildren's day camp was cancelled because the facility was flooded. Parents all over the area were seriously wondering if they would make it until school started again in a few weeks.
Well, somebody had to do something, so I sat down at my desk and had a conversation with whoever might be listening in the world beyond this one. "Okay, who's in charge here? Have we upset you in some way that you think summer swimming meant swimming in your basement? Where on the list of outdoor activities did water rescue fall? Kids are crying, parents are screaming, and my internet reception has slowed down to a crawl ... what's up? " I know, sounds a bit strange even to me now that I see it in print, but I was beyond angry at seeing my summer come to an end prematurely with a natural disaster. Suddenly, at that moment, for some reason, the Serenity Prayer, of all things, popped into my head:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Only true madness brought on by a severe case of cabin fever can make one imagine that they can change the weather by yelling at God. Perhaps a better way to "weather" the storms (pun intended) of life was to turn my attention to the things I can change for the better. Maybe I can call someone else who is stuck in the house and cheer them up. Maybe I can write a letter (yes, I said a letter, not an email or a text) to someone I haven't seen in a long time just to say hi and catch up. Maybe I can clean out that linen closet that has become a haven for everything I don't know what to do with. Maybe I can put on YouTube and dance away my frustration. Maybe I can accept that I am not in charge of the weather and that I need to let go and let God, or Mother Nature, of whoever is responsible for pulling the plug and letting the water drain out do their job ...
... which, of course, they did eventually. Today the sun is out, the morning is cool and promising, and my trusty new walking stick is sitting by the door waiting for me to lace up my sneakers and hit the pavement. See, the hardest part of that prayer is not "accept the things I cannot change," but, "the wisdom to know the difference." Once we master that, the rest is easy.
And so it is.
P.S. The concert went off as planned. My 11 year old granddaughter got to go and said it was a blast!