Yesterday afternoon, we has a brief but violent storm pass through our area. I was at the local library and saw the dark clouds gathering, so I decided to head home to unplug my computer. That trip home, usually not more than five minutes, took me 25 minutes; the rain was coming down in sheets, the wind was blowing hard and the lightning was all around me.
Not more than a very few minutes after I got home, there was a blinding flash of light and the loudest kaboom you ever heard. I knew we had been hit. After taking stock, I went outside and looked at my beautiful redwood tree that I planted over twenty years ago. The bark on one side was stripped from the tree’s 70-foot top all the way down to the ground. However, the tree was not split. In all of its glory, it was still intact. I figure we will know in about a month whether or not it will survive.
This favorite tree of mine saved us. In all of its towering, deciduous beauty, yesterday this tree was our life-saving, house-saving lightning rod. If that tree hadn’t taken the hit, the next tallest thing was the house.
And let me tell you about the outages to our house: the pumps for the a/c, the water pump for our well, the telephones, the Internet, the vacuum system, the security system, the irrigation system, as well as some outlets, lights and appliances. Each and every system has to be addressed, diagnosed and repaired individually, as specific wiring and mechanisms were fried.
Nevertheless, you will not hear me complaining (too loudly). My dear redwood tree protected us and I feel very lucky. The jolt of lightning and its effects were quite fickle. It knocked out power in a very haphazard fashion, with no rhyme or reason. Kind of like life. Sometimes one has to be downright grateful for what one has, rather than moaning about what one does not have. Right now, I am so thankful for my beautiful redwood tree. You better believe I hugged that tree today.
So here’s a toast (literally!), with my cup half full, to my mighty redwood.