Here in Northern California, we are anticipating the second of two storms to blow in this afternoon and evening. Outside the sky is gray and the tree branches are moving in the wind. It is one more sign that the season has changed from Summer to Autumn.
Rain is generally welcomed in this drought parched region. However, land recently burned by the California fires, and to people in low lying areas, the possibility of erosion, mud slides and flooding are very real consequences. Fires are still burning in the Sierra Nevada even as we prepare for wind and rain closer to the coast.
I, like many others, have stocked up on food to minimize trips to the grocery store. I have located the flashlight and placed it near at hand, should the power go off. The cell phone and lap top are fully charged. These are practical things that I can do in preparation of a storm.
However, what about those storms, predicted or unanticipated in our own lives? We all have them. How do we prepare for storms at the Autumn of our lives, or even far earlier in life? What do we stock up on? What are our resources? To whom do we turn? Additionally, how do we listen to those whose lives have been changed forever? Are we able to sit with them while we grieve?
So, what do I recommend? First, to tend your spiritual life as well as your physical life before there is a crisis. This will mean for many of us a practice of regular prayer, attending Bible Study, Worship, meeting with your Spiritual Director, and faith conversations with friends. Make and keep appointments with your physician and therapist, take your medications, eat well, and exercise. Get to know your neighbors, tend relations with family and friends, and serve in your local communities, the nation and the world. Be creative. Laugh. And
above all, Love.