Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sky High

From my vantage point, a summer sky (July 13) provided a beautiful backdrop to my trip to deliver supper and shuffle vehicles from one field to the other.

But, on the other side of the storm, an EF-3 tornado was romping through a rural landscape much like my own, toppling power poles, upending trees like Tinkertoys and tearing a family's get-away cabin into pick-up-stick-like pieces.
While I waited for the guys to get to my end of the field for their taco pizza supper, I took a photo of a sky that reminded me of an alien mothership, hovering over a neighbor's soybean field. A county away, a farmer was losing his soybean field to 165 mile per hour winds.

We give great value to eyewitness accounts. We want reports from the people who are there, recording history as it happens.

But as I watch beautiful Kansas skies, I have come to a realization. Our eyewitness account often depends on what direction we're facing. Context colors our experience.

Our experience may be standing right under the storm cloud as life tosses us to and fro at a whim. Or we may view the storm from a distance and not personally witness its fury. 
Life is like that, too. Unless we are personally experiencing the storm, we don't understand its every nuance. If we're not the ones being struck by the "lightning" of the storm, we can't really speak to the experience.

We can be empathetic. We can be sympathetic. But maybe our best response is just to listen to the eyewitness, no matter how tempting it is to add our perspective.


  1. Kim,

    Sometimes I think I need to google "how to be a good listener". We each have a unique life experience, but sometimes it's better to listen and be there for those experiencing a storm. Great thoughts.

    I like cloud pictures too. Some are amazingly beautiful, others cause a big mess. Hope the tornado and storms didn't do too much damage.

    1. For the people the storm affected, the damage was major. However, as tornadoes go, it missed the "big" town - Hutchinson - and the smaller town - Nickerson.

      I think we can all improve in the listening department. I know I can!

  2. These are very dramatic sky photos and cloud formations. It really does make you feel for those under them.

    1. Yes, there was a tornado in the county to the east of us. Thankfully, it missed the towns, but there was destruction to rural areas.