Storms of Life


We, like many others in our area, had a hailstorm on Saturday afternoon. Strong winds, pelting small hail, then a torrential downpour of rain that cause mini flash flooding and left everything sodden afterwards. I love a good storm as much as anyone, the louder and heavier the better - and heavy rain on a corrugated iron roof has to be some of the alltime best music ever made. But on this occassion I wasn't enjoying it too much, as visciously spectacular as it may have been.

Because I was thinking of my chard. And my silverbeet. And my spinach. And my lettuce. And my kale. And my recently planted tomatoes and cucumbers and eggplant and capsicum. And thinking of them being pelted with frozen rocks took away the joy of the storm.

So, yes, all of our crops have been affected, and some have been heavily damaged. We were sad to see the big holes punched in leaves, the beans snapped off at ground level, and small plants smashed, but acknowledged that most would grow back, or could be replaced.

And any self pity we did have was swept away when we heard on ABC Countryhour the stories of a blueberry grower further north who's hail nets had been shredded and their crops destroyed and bushes snapped off, and the avocado grower who has lost the majority of next year's crop. Our loss was immediately put into correct context - miniscule in comparison to other's. We turned our sorryness from self to the other.

And so it is with life. When we are struggling with the old "poor me" syndrome, one of the best ways to help ourselves is to find someone who is worse off than ourselves, and to choose to help them. We mysteriously find our trials and troubles dissipating, and instead find ourselves being thankful for how insignificant they really are. Or for how small the hail was that fell on our garden.