February 10 – Sometimes a Perfect Storm


He turned out to have been the perfect storm. At least for me he was. I have not yet talked with our son in Boston. Yesterday’s snowstorm, Winter Storm Niko, we are told, was supposed to hit us hard.  3”-6” became 8”-10”, and we were thought to be foolish if we did not have at least a month’s supply of bread and milk in our storehouses.

Niko was an underperformer for those of us in the Philadelphia area, and that made Niko the perfect storm.  Around our house Niko showed up with the low side of his 3 to 6 and just kind of gave up on doing much of anything around 11:00 in the morning. The unmet expectations were fine with me.

Niko was the perfect storm because he didn’t inconvenience me much at all.  The power didn’t go out. It didn’t take long to shovel the driveway. The airport will be back to normal by the time we are ready to board tomorrow’s flight to Guatemala City. The roads are dry.

Niko was the perfect storm because he made for some scenic views yesterday afternoon, his white show covering the ground, and his hasty departure leaving blue skies above.

Thanks, Niko, we hardly got to know you, but you were the perfect guest while you were here.

Apparently Niko did not behave so well in New England, but I don’t live in New England. For me he was the perfect storm.

Not all storms are so well behaved as Niko. Figuratively and literally. Hopes for the new job are dashed by a system set against the young or the old, the inexperienced or the too experienced. We find ourselves among the ten percent for whom the procedure or new drug are not effective. Some children, raised in the way they should go, still turn from that way. The relationship meant to last for a lifetime is cut short by death or disease or desertion. We ask for understanding and all we get is cheap advice.  The new day shows no sign of being any different than the old day.  Some potholes left at the end of the stormy season break the axle and the journey to hope comes to an abrupt end.

Accuweather can’t find much by way of a storm in its 15-Day Forecast. The forecast may or may not be accurate, but there will another storm one of these days, and it may not be so kind as Niko.

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount in which he had spoken words about living life wisely and by God’s rules and not ours, Jesus said those words were like a solid rock, a firm foundation. Then he told a final story about two builders, one of whom built his house on the rock, the firm foundation, and how a storm less perfect than Niko came along.

And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

So long, Niko.