experiencing emily dickinson’s storm

“There came a wind like a bugle;
It quivered through the grass,
And a green chill upon the heat
So ominous did pass
We barred the windows and the doors
As from an emerald ghost;
The doom’s electric moccasin
That very instant passed.
On a strange mob of panting trees,
And fences fled away,
And rivers where the houses ran
The living looked that day.
The bell within the steeple wild
The flying tidings whirled.
How much can come
And much can go,
And yet abide the world!”

so rarely do we as humans have the opportunity to prepare for life’s battles, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. wouldn’t it be nice to have some sort of alarm system that, when something unfortunate was raging our way, a little red blinky light would go off in our house? or we’d have a emergency telephone call on the emergency-only red phone line just like batman? or a little, polite jimmeny cricket living ontop of our shoulder to warn us of future dangers? i think that would be nice. but only if i got a batmobile along with the red phone deal.

regardless, i’ve been noticing these supposedly nonexistant warning signs more and more lately. life is truly all about perspective, and it’s a little sad to think that a bugle could sound off right in some jaded new yorker’s face and they still wouldn’t get the hint. a bugle was an instrument used at war as a warning signal to tell the army of soldiers that the enemy is attacking. Was I really stupid enough to think that God wouldn’t have his very own 24 carat gold bugle (with perfect pitch, i’m guessing) that sounds off when His children are about to be attacked? And if so, why couldn’t I hear it sound? Why do so many of us miss the daily cues and bypass God’s warning labels?

Let’s say, like in the poem, there is a fiercely wild storm that’s hurtling towards this area. The Channel 12 weatherman is the first to realize this future torrent is rapidly approaching. He frantically dials a number on his cell, and suddenly your little red batman emergency-only phone begins to ring. This warning creates a looming feeling of approaching disaster; and brings a sense of unease, right from the very first sound of the ring … correct? okay. so.

the menacing approach and intensity of a storm. something is coming to get us, and our first instinct is terror.

… why? a storm, for example in the dickinson poem above, is an intriguing aspect of nature. terrifying yes, but why do we see the terror first and not the equally amazing sense of wonder of such a force? no matter what nature throws at us, the world has still endured. i mean, i’ve still got ground to walk on and a sea to swim in and a sky to gaze at. so despite the catastrophic possibilites, as humans we resort to terror first, instead of awe. (this is because of fear… see my previous blog lol.)

how much can come and much can go, and yet abide the world! … dickinson saw the wonder. her perspective was different than the usual. is this the definition of art? … hmm. food for thought.

but in conclusion, with all the carnage and destruction the weather may bring, the world still revolves. our time to end as a human race has not come, yet why do choose to let it occupy our thoughts and invade our hearts so often? daily, even. perhaps stressing more the wonder of the world – this world that god created and intended for us to live in wonder – rather than the horror. fear is not from the lord. but the message of calamity and enduring most definitely is, and i wish that was something that we all could remember a little more often.


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