We’re amateur meteorologists here. All of us. It’s hard-wired into us if not at birth, then by the first time we see the serious visage of a parent, neighbor, teacher looking at you, small child, and looking into a warm and dark sky, then making a decision that in the next 15 fifteen minutes might be the decision that saves your life.
After that we can stand in the air on warm spring afternoons and believe we can sense that “one’s coming” or we can discern the green/orange and then purple and black globs as the radar sweeps them across our home, or we can giggle at the hyperbole augers with mawkish gestures and pristine ties while our mothers peek out of their concrete bombshelters hoping to hear one word of salvation from them, of safety from them, of all clear, of not this time.
But they won’t tell us “never again.” They won’t say “never again” will it be on you, your families, your children, your schools, your homes, with, at best, minutes notice. They’ll never say “we’ve figured them out, this is the vaccine, and we’ll all be safe now.”
So we are all amateur meteorologists.
You can fight terrorists. You can encircle their homes with unmanned drones and with the pull of trigger half a world away fill their bedrooms with more fire power than was used in the entire Civil War. You can track them down. You can lock down a city to find them. You can kill their brothers. You can pull them from their rat holes and shred the constitution to extract information from their floppy-haired heads.
You can declare war on them, and it’s supposed to make you feel safer.
We don’t have anyone to fight. The firepower shot at us is indiscriminate. Our terrorists walk in behind warm breezes.
We just know how to recover. And we’re better for it. We know how to turn on our wounds, to cauterize them with the very first responders whose backs were slapped mercilessly and whose ears rang with “thank you for your service” in the opening miles of our marathon. We know how to flush disease from our wounds with lines of volunteers and endless donations, blood, water, hot meals, warm beds. We know how to heal our wounds, to hug neighbors, to reach for out-stretched hands, to wipe their tears, to rebuild.
Watch us this week. This is why we live here. Our recovery always wins.
This is why we live here.