This evening there were tornado warnings for some of the counties surrounding my new home in Charlotte. Aside from the winds, and perhaps rain after this post is published, all seems quiet now on my little patch of the Piedmont. There is a lamp on the corner of my street. In its soft glow at this late hour, I can see leaves being gently blown from the branches of a willow tree. It looks like an autumnal snowfall.
It's still warm. The crickets are chirping, even at midnight. They don't seem too worried. The dog seems to disagree. She's pacing. I am weighing the promise made in their chirping against the odd glow of the sky. Tornadoes and crickets.
It's a little like life these days. Polls and news stories predict doom, offering ominous warnings in the sky. And then there are those people, who just by virtue of living their lives seem to emulate hope. Their steady words and actions give cause for believing again, and connecting with a deep love for this world.
The Rev. Mary Harrington was one such soul. She passed away today. I only met her once in New Orleans. Rev. Mary was the co-founder and president of Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul. Even in that one meeting, I was aware of the grace, inspiration and depth of spirit that Mary brought to ministry and life in general.
Mary had an incredible ability to pay attention, particularly to the natural world. Her blog "Duck Dreams" is a testimony to this great gift she brought as she wrote about the world around her. From the simple sights in nature, she drew an eternal wisdom.
In honor of Mary this evening, I am paying a little more attention to the world outside these walls and windows. Tornadoes and crickets. I think I'll side with the crickets tonight.