Heavy Summer Air

Monday night, storms rumbled through the Twin Cities, nonstop mumbling from the clouds. I turned on the evening news as much to see what was happening around the world as to keep up with any severe weather warnings. Right in the middle of a segment about the freshman congresswomen of color who gave a response to Trump’s ridiculous idea that they should leave the country, local news interrupted with weather information that was, indeed, a warning. I was disappointed, wanted to hear the story about the congresswomen’s response, even though the storm news was also important. And then, poof! There was no news at all. Our electricity went out.

I sat there for a moment thinking the power would come back on soon. We seldom have power out for long at our house and, in fact, it had been a few years since we’d had any major power outage last for more than five minutes. But this time, much of our suburb of Roseville was without power. The nearby library was dark, as was our local Target store and our favorite gas station. Stoplights at local intersections were out. I heard police sirens punctuate the storm. My cell phone blared a flash flood warning for our area.

The power outage lasted for a few hours. The air remained heavy with humidity. In the absence of television, radio, or internet, I dug out our emergency camp lights and a few candles, and realized our electric stove was not going to be in service for dinner, nor was the gas grill sitting outside in the pouring rain. Dinner was cheese, crackers, apples, nuts, and a glass of wine. Not a bad thing, really.

Tuesday morning, the air still hung heavy. Damp. Twigs, branches, leaves were scattered around our neighborhood. I decided to catch up on the news by reading a few stories from the StarTribune website. But I soon decided I couldn’t stomach it; perhaps the weather had done me a favor the night before by cutting off access to what was going on in Washington.

Trump’s incessant racist, misogynist, nationalist, and just plain ignorant remarks regarding anyone who doesn’t agree with him weigh heavy on all of us. Far heavier than this humid air pressing down in the midst of July. He blows through his presidency like a storm on an erratic path, laying waste to whatever is in front of him. Unpredictable. The closer the 2020 election gets, the worse he gets – if that’s even possible. He wields his presidential power like a lightning bolt; his strikes sever limbs, occasionally start a fire.

I have always loved watching the weather. Loved the way storms build and burst, the way the temperature drops suddenly and wind rises. But there is no pleasure in watching my country become a political disaster zone, blown apart by people with no ability to check their facts before they unleash a hurricane of vitriol. What a hard job meteorologists have predicting the weather; just look at that storm stalled over Washington.

Don’t let your power go out, if at all possible. Keep your emergency supplies handy. Raise your voice above the storm.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com


  1. I think the power going out long term at the WH would solve a great deal of the current issues. I have tried not to watch or view but the attacks are always coming and recently even more so on strong women figures. It pisses me off!!! So what do I do? Kayak, knit, bike. Positive that this too shall pass us. Bright sunlight always follows a turbulent storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am hopeful that it shall pass, too. I try to keep my blog as a soothing place, but this week I refused to be quiet about what is going on. Couldn’t shut it off in my head. As a writer, I do feel a responsibility to at least occasionally comment on what is going on, to perhaps offer some thoughts that might further the conversation and nudge it into action that brings about change. Or keep the little flames of dissent burning. In the meantime, to balance the anger, I choose yoga, writing, hiking, and photography. It’s good to have these options.

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  2. Trump is a worry. He’s calling anyone (Democrats in this case) unAMERICAN for goodness sake! That means anyone who disagree with HIM can be labelled a TRAITOR and we know where that leads. But I do not think the Democrats are playing this too well. šŸ˜¦ I think they needed a young man to stand up to Trump.

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  3. You handle the analogies here well. Trump undoubtedly basks in being compared to a destructive storm. God help us. I just visited the U.K. and Boris Johnson (“Mini-Trump”) is their equivalent form of destructive entertainment. Met a fellow hiker, a German, who is very concerned about Germany’s conservative AfD Party, which is embracing far-right, racist candidates similar to how many Republicans here have embraced Trump.

    I wonder if our world actually needs these dangerous political storms, periodically, as a sort of diversion from our complacency. Like you said, all we can do is keep our emergency supplies nearby and weather the storm as best we can.

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  4. Thank you for this. I got me thinking about how much I love storms. The sense of expectation in the air as it rolls in, the wild dance of trees even as wind prunes their weak limbs, the beautiful cacophony of power as it asserts itself. The worst storms drive us to seek shelter, rely on one another, rebuild despite damage. I have to believe this long and brutal storm, shocking as it is, will wash us in resolve as we rebuild together. I need to believe this.

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