Most days this is what I see out my back door.
But one morning mid-summer, this was the view I had...through the door
and then...standing on the patio...looking at my neighbor's patio with my canopy bent and strewn about after the rains had gone.
We've lost a couple of these little canopies in the past year due to unexpected thunderstorms. At the end of last summer my impulsive husband and our dear friend hung on to one canopy during a sudden storm with winds easily topping fifty miles an hour. They saved the canopy. Scared the beejeepers out of me, but they did it.
I would never do something like that.
Or would I?
When I got up at six that day there were just a few wispy clouds to the west of us. We didn't think too much of it, even though the forecast threatened isolated thunderstorms. My ever so humble little patio looked inviting and fine. I went down to the husband's office to chat for a few minutes before I needed to do a quick change to take the boys to their day at summer intensives.
In less than thirty minutes the sky changed from overcast to green-black and the winds had picked up to at least forty mph, thunder boomed closer and closer. To quote a cliché the rain fell in sheets--it really did.
As we ran out of the house I asked if we were going to take the canopy down and my husband, already hanging on to one side of the canopy as it offered to launch to the next block said it was too late, to go in. I decided to try to hang on too. Did I really? I'm still shaking my head at that one.
We hung on and the winds blew harder, the rain fell hard and the canopy constantly tried to take flight. If I had jumped in the pool, my pajamas would not have been more soaked.
The winds accelerated and the lightning got closer.
And silly ole me hung on tighter and tighter. Willing to risk much over a replaceable canopy.
Finally I realized my husband was no longer hanging on, but shouting in my ear, "Let it go, Julie, Just let it go!" I'm a little stubborn. And didn't let go right away.
We both hung on a little longer, enough to help it bend over the fence instead of becoming the projectile it could have been. And then we dove in the house just as the worst of the storm hit. My children witnessed the whole stupid thing. And were terrified.
This was the worst of our storm damage, but up and down the block trees were stripped, a few were even snapped. Windshields were busted out and houses were damaged.
And I was willing to take a chance with wind and lightning for my canopy.
As I dried off, I pondered how symbolic that was for so many things in my life. I'd rather hold on to the unimportant things than let them go. Am I too busy cling to my chaff (collections, things, junk, opinions) and storing them in barns? Should I be more concerned with treasures that won't rust or burn away?
How often has God said, "Just let it go, Julie!" How long did I hang on?
What are you hanging onto these days? I don't recommend what I did. Really, really stupid (and I know stupid is not a nice word--but it was.) I've learned my lesson about canopies. Hopefully the bigger lesson will sink in too.