Monday, December 8, 2014

Storm Approaching California

Storm Approaching Coastal California
I have waxed often about the sea: its peacefulness (hence named Pacific), its nurturing qualities, and that incredibly arousing aroma of wind and water. But yesterday, I witnessed a growling storm as she rippled onto the coast. I am reminded of Eastern Mediterranean storm gods: Ba'al/Hadad who rolls in rain into Ugarit and Teshup, the Hurrian storm-bringer. Even the Hebrew Bible ascribes storminess to the "Holy One" as in that sublime eco-spiritual Psalm 104:

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
    O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
    wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
    you set the beams of your[a] chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your[b] chariot,
    you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your[c] messengers,
    fire and flame your[d] ministers.
You set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it shall never be shaken.
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they flee;
    at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
    to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.
10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow between the hills,
11 giving drink to every wild animal;
    the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 By the streams[e] the birds of the air have their habitation;
    they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. (NRSV)

In my haste to depict Nature as healing and nurturing, I have overlooked the necessity for change, fluctuation and even occasional destructiveness. Nature is as complex as our human psyches and even more pervasive. I am eager for rain--all of California thirsts for water after three years of devastating drought.
All glory to Pacific storms; all glory to renewing abundant life!