This past weekend was one that really caused me to stop and think again about life and blessing. Big things were going on in the world. Libya was coming to the end of a bloody rebellion, world finances continued to be in crisis, the stock markets appeared to be free-falling, in Somalia children continue to die as a result of the drought there. All of these things, while very important and frightening seem far away from our little, generally blessed, part of the world.
Sunday changed that as a tornado ripped through the central part of our county landing squarely on the downtown of the county seat, Goderich. The tornado came ashore from Lake Huron a mere 22km (as the bird flies) from where we were celebrating my father’s 75th birthday. To stay out of the rain, which was thundering down, we were all in the drive-in shed. Since the wind had picked up, someone decided to close the doors. The rain on the tin roof obliterated all other sounds. If the tornado had come our way, we would not have noticed until it took the shed away. Looking at the pictures coming from Goderich, it is a wonder that more people were not seriously injured or killed
And then Monday the announcement of the death Jack Layton. I had never personally met Jack. For a while in the 90’s we were members of the New Democratic Party and over the years have watched as Jack rose from Toronto city council to leader of the federal NDP and leader of the official opposition this past fall. His initial fight with cancer and his broken hip were reasonably public events. His death surprised me. It had only been a month since he stepped away from his public duties. There had been no updates about his condition and suddenly he is gone. He could likely win the election today.
We were celebrating a birthday while Goderich was ruined, while Jack struggled through his final hours. It was a good celebration for us as a family. Things have not always been easy in my dad’s 75 years. The things happening around us remind us just how fragile the things we take for granted really are and how quickly our lives can change. We are again reminded about where we find our only comfort.
While writing this post, a truck has come up our driveway pulling a trailer loaded with wood from Goderich. The trailer has a flat tire. I have helped get the tire off and a little later will help these guys get it back on and down the road. My little contribution to the repair of the town.