Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma ~ Waiting Out a Storm


When I was a young girl growing up in the south, my great-grandmother lived next door. We called her Granny. She wore her hair in a beautiful French braid that she twisted and turned up her back each morning with hardly a glance in the mirror. Why is this important? Because Granny had some grit about her, a treasure trove of stability and routine (hence, the daily hairdo) and a mountain of faith, notwithstanding that tiny bit of friendly black magic that cured my daily ailments, bumps and bruises. She called it Jesus healing. I called it magic. 

Thankfully, one fine day, those two terms met in my inquisitive peace-seeking mind and melded together into my own faith, based on my own unique experiences, seamlessly solidified by watching her and others in my life, walk out a daily regimen of beliefs that kept them grounded and kept me safe. 

One of my fondest memories with her involved storms. Thunderstorms to be exact. Lightning and thunder. Flashes of frightening noises on the tobacco farm, where a strike of lightning could torch a barn and wipe out a year's income. One such bad afternoon storm when the power went out and the winds were
Mimosa tree
blowing the Mimosa tree in the backyard, I remember Granny walking over to our house to wait out the storm, carrying a spit can for her snuff. 
You know what snuff is, right?

Children were not allowed to run and play during a storm or make any loud noises. It was time to sit down, listen for outside calamity like falling trees and wait it out together. I had an upright black piano at the time and I wanted to play, but Granny said, "Shhhhhhh. Hush, Child. That's too loud, but we can quietly sing."

So, with a bundle of my French-braided kin and a pan of snap peas to string, she taught me this song. It's an old Gospel hymn written by Thomas Mosie Lister called "Til The Storm Passes By". I later learned to play it for her from the United Methodist hymnal while my mother sang the tune standing behind me. 

  Hushhhhh child.... not today....there's a storm  a'brewin...
'Til the storm passes over
'Til the thunder sounds no more
'Til the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me close
Let me stand
in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe
'Til the storm passes by
 
There are millions of people waiting out  massive Hurricane Irma at the moment. They have much more to worry about than downed tobacco barns and falling trees, although that is also devastating in perspective. Since the path has shifted west, Bloggingham may be spared from flooding and tornado winds, but if Irma has proven anything it's how unpredictably fickle she can be.  We shall see. 

I pray for the peace that passes all understanding in the midst of this storm. Granny's soothing touch and the sound of my mother's beautiful voice gave that peace to me so long ago, as do these lyrics when I'm faced with wailing winds.

I wish I could sit with her today and sing while she braided my hair and told me to hush in her no-nonsense loving way. And if you need to sing, here's a song from my childhood home to yours. 
(P.S. Now that the storm is over, I hope you all made it through with no worries...)

Lynda Randle has a nice version of this hymn on YouTube if you'd like to listen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nKcYFQfe3A

Images: Pixabay

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8 comments:

Mark In Mayenne said...

Hi Mims, stay safe, your family too. Thanks for the song. XX

Mimi Lenox said...

Thanks Mark. I think we'll be OK here.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You took me back to sitting on the back porch with my grandma, who loved a good thunderstorm. She would be afraid of how devastating this week's storms are though. I hope you stay safe. Thank you for this geautiful story, in the middle of it all.

Mimi Lenox said...

Hi Sherry... Grandmas are true treasures. Did you ever snap beans or peas on the porch? I remember how it hurt my fingers lol!
I think we're going to be just fine here. We'll see how she turns.

Thanks for reading. Always delightful to see you.

Charles Gramlich said...

A beautiful post, such a loving memory! A great treasure you have there.

Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - The treasures are the words. Powerful powerful words....
Thanks for visiting. Hope you stayed safe in the storm.

The Gal Herself said...

Just now read this. Haven't been by in a while. (I'm good about blogging, less good about checking blogs.) What a lovely, evocative post. Glad you're all right. Glad you're still writing long form. You do it so well!

Mimi Lenox said...

Hi Gal - You DO blogging so well. Me? I have so many irons in the fire at the moment in my life. But blogging is never far from my mind...

Thanks for the lovely visit. We'll catch up soon.
Mimi

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