The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Manuel Batlle
2017 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Manuel at
Storm! Fear or prepare and see a Marvel?

The amount of water coming from repetitive storms that began last year definitely has all seeing California as the state that no longer has its water reserve glass half empty.  Newscasters have been able to use the most creative words to describe the future, present or past storms with headlines, phrases and words like:

   Storms pose double-edged sword to California

   NASA satellite photos show effects of California rain

   Pacific Storm Parade

   Atmospheric River

   Storm slams California

   Rainstorm walloped

   Winter Storm Leo Kills



I do not discredit the beneficial function of instilling fear in the population with the probable desire for all to ensure they are prepared. Newscasters’ follow-up with wise “tips” in cases of emergency.  And so the news will keep us on the edge of our seats waiting for the message of our salvation “…coming up next!” 

I truly see a benefit from the early warning and updated information that is provided from moment to moment during these times of constant storms in each of our localities.  But on the flip side, I also like to see the storm in its grandeur, as resource in nature that cleans up, orients landscape, brings life and sets the stage for the new season. 

I look at the succession of events as an observer of nature and not in any way as a meteorologists or meteorologists-wannabe. Before the rain, the wind sweeps in gradually moving from mild, moderate to severe as a tempest.  Wind will shake the tree stimulating the roots to grow deeper.  Dead branches and leaves clip off, seeds fall, pollen may disperse and old rigid trees topple over, almost as if the wind has the pressure calibrated for each item in its path.  The air over the town receives its first cleansing air-broom stroke as the temperature falls a couple degrees before the rain falls.

As I look up during this “calm before the storm," the clouds stampede in their ever evolving fashion, sucking up the surrounding heat to fuel the soon downpour on the landscape. The storm hits, water drops in all shapes and sizes plummet from the sky to bring the most essential element not only to fill lakes and rivers but hydrate the soil and seeds cleaning all in its path. Now the deer no longer pants before the dried up water brook. The trees planted by rivers will bring their fruit in his season while the pastures are made green for all to lie down in the near future.

We tend to see nature as a molesting outsider to our comfortable lifestyles. When dams made by men overflow, we blame nature or God for permitting these events. But who is molesting whom I wonder? People will come together rendering a helping hand and break away from their routine and be humans one to the other.   A saying in Spanish says, “Todo rio regresa a su cauce,” meaning that “Every River will return to its riverbed (water will flow again).”  This is good to know if we live or plan to live near a river.

As we step away from the drought and into liquid, may we not permit titles like “Biggest Storm of winter,” be an obstruction in seeing nature come to our rescue with the most important element of physical life.  Although we tend to want to believe our wisdom and science call the shots, a stronger force seems to guide nature to give us all a rude awakening. 

The body has a lymphatic system, where unused particles or garbage is released to later drain into the blood and be further excreted through our stool or urine. An amazing choreography of chemical movements permits this cascade to keep the body clean. Along the way many specialized cells are employed to further filter each particle to either breakdown for reuse or make it ready for excretion.  I wonder if the same is done in planet earth to guide the flowing waters that bring debris, where sand and other elements filter along the way, even animals may also help clean up? 

An article noted that British scientist discovered bacteria coined “Extremophile,” or radiation tolerant bacteria. The claim of fame is that the Extremophile takes up harmful radioactive material and converts this to a less harmful molecule (https://phys.org/news/2015-05-extremophile-bacteria-key-nuclear-problems.html). As reminded by many environmental movements and documentaries, we have not been very responsible in our actions to protect our environment. Although we might not deserve such overflowing of this liquid gold called water, the laws of the universe ensures balance is maintained by manifesting graceful splendor to preserve life.

There is a story of a man named Noah and he probably got the same news flash but he just got ready for the tempest and rested in his refuge from the storm.  Today as I drive down this wet dirt road, I notice the white horses grazing calmly next the flowing waters where the trees have begun to show their blooms.  Instead of complaining that it is too dry or too wet, may we just be prepared in season and out of season and enjoy the splendor of all.  In the end the greater force will make the storm calm, so the waves are still.