Tornadoes are Holy
By Amanda Artemisia Forrester
Tornado season in the Midwest
Never fails to remind a person just how small they are –
And how powerful Nature is.
For a few moments, we feel the primal fear of our ancestors,
As we huddle together in basements,
Or in public bathrooms with strangers,
Our mindless consumerism briefly interrupted by your seasonal fury.
Winds howl like otherworldly creatures,
Trees are ripped from the life-giving Earth,
Roots exposed to the green-grey sky,
A sickening reversal of what seems to us the natural order,
But you, tornado-winds, are natural too.
Nature is not always kind and nurturing,
And destruction is as necessary for life as birth.
Holiness is not always comfortable.
Sacredness is not always safe.
“Awesome” and “awful” have the same root word – “full of awe”.
This primeval tumult of swirling cloud is so very, very much larger than us.
Powerful enough to tear down our stone houses and our illusion of control.
So we shiver and shake in the dark.
But soon enough the warning passes,
And most of mankind return to their video games and their shopping,
Numbed out by the hollow world we’ve built to enforce our collective delusion:
That we are the dominant force on this planet.
At least until another disaster grabs them by the throat again.
But I linger behind,
Overtaken by the awe of what’s transpired.
So I will honor you, raging, spirits of Air,
Manifestation of Mother Gaia’s devouring wrath,
Not with a meager offering of words,
Or a request for blessings of wisdom and eloquent speech
(though that is your domain as well)
But with the holy fear that you are due.
I will never forget your power.
Pass over my house in peace, I pray.