Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dust on the balance

It is amazing how small many of the things we think are so important become when tragedy strikes. Like the flooding in our neighborhood.

One family had survived previous floods, including one from Hurricane Agnes in the 1970s that washed most of the neighborhood away. Another family decided to declare a total loss on their property - ironically they had just finished improving it so they could apply for a home loan in order to add another story so the part that flooded this month would be the basement. Now it's a loss.

There are things beyond our control - floods, rain, storms. Sometimes I wonder if we contribute to these disasters - through cutting down forests in order to build townhouses or apartments. That lets the water run off into the rivers and creeks where it has nowhere to go.

Or like cutting the mangroves that helped prevent some of the violent shifts that contribute to hurricane damage.

I was struck this week by two things (1) gasoline is getting way out of hand - even though we burn it like we will never run out; and (2) we have a lot to be thankful for.

The first point was driven home by rush hour. Car after car after SUV after truck lined up for miles. Every day for at least 8 hours a day. Don't ask why gas is so expensive - look around. That's why. I started taking the train to compensate. I might even start to ride my bike again.

The second point was driven home when I came home to my wife and dogs and they were healthy and happy and glad to see me. That made the commute worth it. They are why I do what I do. Whether I can figure out the latest tune on the Gospel charts or not is not really all that important. The people I love and the life we share are precious, even if I sometimes forget that.

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