Spring is storm season in central Kansas and most of us look forward to the occasional disruption of the daily grind to watch the clouds, check the radar, and smell a little rain. The ice storm we had in the second week of April was a bit over the top, however, even for those of us used to crazy weather.
It seems to me that storms must be pretty important in the grand scheme of things, judging from how many songs about them I hear on the radio. It seems every time I turn on the power, I hear “Every Storm Runs out of Rain” by Gary Allan, or “Storm Warning” by Hunter Hayes.
I love to sing along with “I’m a Tornado” by Little Big Town, with that rollicking beat. Then there is “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood with those memorable lines that stick in one’s head — “every brick, every board, every slamming door, blown away” — and that chorus that is so much fun to wail along with.
It is a good thing I do most of my “singing along” in the milk barn with only my dairy goats to hear. They are used to my noise and just keep chewing their cud and letting down that milk.
While songs about storms don’t upset the animals too much as long as they are dry and out of the wind and rain, the actual change in barometer, wind direction, and electricity in the atmosphere that comes before a real storm often sets them off in unruly behavior.
Sometimes one can tell that a storm is coming just by the way people and animals act. My husband gets severe headaches, my daughter gets a nervous, anxious feeling, and my son feels pain in his knee when a storm is coming. The animals on our farm seem get extra playful, racing around their pens with energy and excitement before a storm.
There is something very powerful about storms, and songs about them.
Lyrics of storm songs relate how they are game-changers, giving the powerless hope and changing desperate situations. Maybe that is why storm songs seem to be popular.
I heard somewhere that storms create moments that transform lives. They also point out priorities in our lives.
I know that is true because when the ice storm hit last week, all of the sudden that junior high track meet was not so important. All those errands I was supposed to run fell from the top of my priority list for the day.
Some storm songs take a more positive approach to life connections.
One of my favorite storm songs is a Christian number by Laura Story, “Blessings.” Her lyrics tell how the raindrops that come with many storms, and fall in many lives, can actually be blessings in disguise. Disappointments lead to change; healing comes through tears, and after the storm comes mercy.
In the case of our oat field, the recent ice storm seemed to bring on a blessing all its own. We had our usual scurry to get the seeds in the ground at the appropriate time, but once all was planted, we waited and waited for those little green shoots to appear.
The day of the ice storm, not an oat seed had sprouted, but somehow, under that layer of ice, things were happening. Forces of power changed and seeds transformed into seedlings overnight.
By the time the ice melted off the trees the next day, our oats crop was at least an inch or two tall in the field. How did that happen? In the worst of conditions, the best of nature was at work. Guess it just goes to show that one should never let a storm, of any kind, stand in the way of hope for the future. When there is a storm on the horizon, it might be the best thing ever.