Heavy Summer Air
Updated: Jan 29, 2020
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.