Thursday, June 3, 2010

On Humble Pleas (Or, A Letter to Mother Nature)

Dear Mother Nature,

It is the beginning of June, which in my neck of the woods signals the official start of Hurricane Season. I know you are a busy lady what with the damage we humans are doing to your planet and the havoc you feel you must wreak to put us in our place. But I write you today to tell you how much I love and respect you.

I’m not trying to butter you up here (but if that will help, I’ll butter away). I’m simply trying to let you know that for so many of us, you are the epitome of beauty and the most deserving entity of reverence. My two children, in fact, love you so much that the elder can’t stand the notion of littering and wants me to do everything in my power to prevent stepping on any of your creatures, no matter how pesky or potentially painful they can be. And the younger tries, usually in vain, to plant all she can to appreciate the splendor of your flowers, especially those that attract caterpillars. She also loves lizards, frogs, snakes, turtles, and almost every member of the rodent family. (I’ll admit she’s not at all a fan of the arachnid family, but can you really blame her?)

I tell you all this because I am afraid. You are a source of great power, and I have seen what your storms can do. I know this has been a rough year for many of my brethren who have suffered from your earthquakes, in particular. But as hurricane season begins, I am quickly reminded of the eerie storms that have ravaged the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines and their surroundings.

Photo by

I was born and raised in South Florida, yet I didn’t truly see what you could do until August of 1992, when you sent Hurricane Andrew to Miami. The tidal surge from Biscayne Bay swiftly turned my childhood home into fodder for my nostalgic ramblings. After that, things were relatively quiet until 2004, when you sent four hurricanes to South Florida. Mercifully, you spared my part of town from severe damage.

However, in 2005, you seemed notably angrier than usual and sent another four storms to South Florida. Katrina hit Miami but did most of her damage to New Orleans. You finished South Florida’s storm season with Hurricane Wilma, who graciously took the roof from my house during an unseasonably cool time of year. Wilma was no Katrina, but as the eighth storm to pass over in a 15-month period, she knocked the wind out of my spirit. For a very long time. (Though I did come up with some inventive ways to live without electricity or running water. Did you know that child potty seats and kitty litter make for a great waste disposal system, even for grown-ups?)

Now, forecasters are predicting a storm season busier than 2005. And I am terrified. If the roof (finally replaced 16 months after Hurricane Wilma) goes again, I think I will flip my lid. And if the whole house goes, I’m afraid my fortitude will crumble with it.

How can I appeal to you? Do you accept sacrificial offerings? On some days, I’ve got two small humans to proffer. (Okay, you know I’m joking, right? Really? You do know that humor is a human way to deal with anxiety and fear, don’t you? So we’re good?) But seriously. Please hear my plea because as much as I bitch about the summertime climate in South Florida, I know I’m blessed to live here the other six months of the year. You did more than well when you offered your hand in the creation of this land, and my family and I are trying our best to take care of it. In return, I request that you please try your best to take care of us too.

From the bottom of my humble heart, I send my love and honor.

Forever yours,


  1. Great letter, Wendy! I too heard the hurricane season forecast -- although, didn't they predict the same doom for last year's season? Of course if I were Mother Nature, I 'd be pretty damn pissed off at human beings right now...well, the genius engineers from BP, at least. I hope, for the coastlines' sakes, that there aren't any major storms to wash more of that oil ashore. Sheesh. Makes me want to run out and by a Prius.

    It's been raining all week here in GA. Hope the weather's been better in S. FLorida :)

  2. There's always something. If it's not hurricanes, it's tornadoes. Or earthquake or blizzards or floods or....

    Mother Nature, I think you are a show-off. And we get it, really! You got da power, so you really don't need to keep reminding us.

  3. Sending along my plea from New England, on your behalf, to Mother Nature! Wishing you a peaceful, calm weather summer ...

  4. Having just driven through a freaking snow storm (white-out conditions) in JUNE, I am praying along with you, sugar.

  5. As a fellow Florida girl, I second this letter! It was amazing to see our community come together and support each other during the summer of 2004. BUT, we can support each other in good times too. Right? Like, throw a giant picnic--sans rain. :)

  6. All the best for this season. May Mother Nature be kind to Florida this year.

  7. What a creative appeal to Mother Nature. And so vivid that I definitely don't want to live where hurricanes flourish. Hope you don't get hit again! Yes, I have thought that my disabled daughter's commode would be very handy in such an emergency. Oh, how creative we can be in perilous times!

  8. What happened to the brilliant film review post? It came into my Google Reader and I loved it but it's vanished from here. Such a shame.

  9. fairyhedgehog~ That review wasn't supposed to appear until Monday morn, my regular post time. It should reappear then ;-)