The storm passeth over

A wicked storm crashed through the valley a couple of days ago, bringing buckets of rain, high winds and lightning. Plants in pots rolled across porches, bikes fell over, trees bent in supplication. Fortunately, the storm was short-lived and the predicted two-inch hailstones did not arrive to break windows and dent autos—at least not here.

The next day things were back to normal, but on my morning walk the storm effects were still visible. The grass in the field I shortcut across, previously as high as my head, now lay low and sideways like neatly combed hair. The neighbor's pink peonies, which the morning before had stood tall, fresh and beautiful under sunny skies, now bedraggledly bent to kiss the earth.

It's not unusual here to have summer storms and I remember many July 4ths when lightning competed with fireworks. Still, this felt odd for its virulence and its unusual tornado threat—the first I can remember in 40 Oregon years. Is it climate change or just unusual weather? Are storm cellars in our future? Are we doing enough to shrink our carbon footprint? Is Obama? What can we do on a personal level that we're not already doing?

All I have is questions. And the conviction that our potted plants overwhelming prefer a calm sunshiny day to the excitement of rolling around on the porch.