Posts tagged weather

A Skillful Reflection on Lightning

Although substantiated by a logical scientific process, there’s something inexplicable few can deny about the effects of lightning. In fact, many cultures have viewed it in conjunction with a deity, including the Greek god Zeus, the Mayas’ God K, and Norse mythology’s beloved and fabled Thor. Verses in the holy books of Judaism and Islam credit lightning with a mysterious and commanding “supernatural importance,” and in the traditional religion of the African Bantu tribes, lightning is a sign of the fury of the gods, representing a time of rage and indignation.

But in the midst of the fear and mystery around this natural phenomenon, perhaps the most can be learned from the French and Italian’s expression for “Love at first sight,” which is Coup de foudre and Colpo di fulmine, respectively, which literally translated means “lightning strike.”

This parallel is a telling one, depicting the positive aspects that can be taken away from something so potentially frightening and ferocious. Allow yourself to envision the first time that primitive cultures saw fire. Without the conventional wisdom to explain it, it was magic, worthy of the respect and humility of an outright miracle. Conversely, lightning was like fire shooting from the sky; a divine force that brought its spectators as much excitement as concern. And although they couldn’t quite explain what was causing it, they knew it was helping to shape the landscape of the earth they were so attached to. They developed a profound appreciation for the process, and their own theories on what was triggering it. Perhaps some sort of divine being needed appeasement; perhaps it sought to regenerate the forests to keep them healthy; perhaps something was in dire need of being restored…regardless, they were able to parlay any fear in their minds into recognition in their hearts, welcoming the inevitable shift and its sacred messenger.

This time of year, when lightening is most visible, think of it not as a warning, but as a reminder of how yielding to the vigor and unpredictability of one of nature’s strongest forces can set possibilities ablaze.

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Appreciating Any Weather: Advice from the Skillful Doctor

Question: I love the summer but hate the winter, so with the first sign of autumn, I begin anticipating the cold weather ahead.  As a result, I can’t enjoy the season.  How can I learn to be more accepting and positive about the seasons I don’t like?

Answer: Nature’s cycles have to do with how the earth-and its flower reflectioninhabitants-renews itself. Sometimes this renewal process is gradual and gentle. Sometimes it is violent and destructive. Nevertheless, these cycles are endless sources of wonder, healing, and inspiration.

Local parks, nature trails and your own backyard are treasure troves of undiscovered beauty. In fact, the greatest place of tranquility might be found right outside your bedroom window in the form of a beautiful sunrise, rustling leaves, a duck floating on a pond, a sparrow building her nest, or a dew drop falling off a leaf.

Could you find fulfillment and joy by simply marveling at the cycles of plants and animals in response to seasonal and climatic changes to their environment? My children and I used to spend countless hours sitting beside a small pond on our property mesmerized by the iridescent quality of dragonfly wings. Witnessing first hand natural events such as bird migration, plant budding, flowering or fruiting, insect activities, and the stages of birth and death can help us reestablish our interconnection and interdependence with the natural world.

Every three months or so, it can be helpful to review the importance of each season as it comes to a close.  In so doing, we may appreciate more fully the value of each season as it passes, as well as prepare ourselves for the transition to the next.  By appreciating this value, we can enjoy the time more.

Share your reflections on the changing seasons or submit your own question in the comments section…

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