Monday, September 18, 2023

10 Days of Transforming Pain into Beauty, Day 4, Ice and Snow

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
Growing up in the Upper Midwest and living since then in the Northeast, I have many memories of intense snowstorms, some of them blizzards, as well as less frequent ice storms. Both left death and disruption in their wake. 
During such storms, electric power distribution often fails, and hundreds of thousands of people can be without heat and electricity for days on end, making life inconvenient at best and life threatening at worst. This past December's Category 4 storm that crippled Buffalo and other parts of the northern US killed 106 people and left more than $8 billion in damage and more than 7 million people without power.
Increasing amounts of moisture in the air due to climate change is increasing the severity of storms, even when it’s cold, by making heavy precipitation more likely and more frequent, thus increasing the disruption and death.
Mary North Allen

And yet, once such a storm is over and the Sun comes out, the world is transformed into a bright and glittering fairy land. The power may still be out, search and rescue teams may still be at work, and the danger may not be over, but the beauty of the snow-covered landscape can be breathtaking. The world has been transformed.
Mary North Allen
The question arises, what does it take each of us to transform the bit of the world that is within and around us to something breathtakingly beautiful? To take a step in that direction is the task of these days, and our lives.

Rabbi Katy Allen is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long and has a growing children’s outdoor learning program, Y’ladim BaTeva. She is the founder of the Jewish Climate Action Network-MA, a board certified chaplain, and a former hospital and hospice chaplain. She received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in  Yonkers, NY, in 2005. She is the author of A Tree of Life: A Story in Word, Image, and Text and lives in Wayland, MA, with her spouse, Gabi Mezger, who leads the.singing at Ma'yan Tikvah.

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