Part of the Mare Herd at the 4DH Ranch in Oklahoma. For More Works by Debra Coppinger Hill Click Image.

Friday, June 22, 2012



Hail as big as hen’s eggs sounds like pistol shots on the roof. We bail out of bed, look out the front door and know that we can do nothing for the horses or cattle in the big pastures. We fear that they will come to harm. Just as quickly as it started, the hail stops and the rain starts. Husband throws on clothes and boots and heads out with a light. I stay inside, we have both small grandsons here and I cannot leave them to go check with him. I stare out the door and wait. It seems like forever before he returns. I am not quite over this unpleasant surprise.

All is well as far as he can see in the darkness with only a flashlight. It lasted only minutes but hail that size can destroy a great deal in that amount of time. The boys slept through the whole thing; the banging of the hail on the metal roof, the two us throwing open doors and dashing about, turning on the TV for the weather alerts and tromping out and in. They do not fear the storms or the sounds associated, they are blessed with child-sleep filled only with dreams.

In the light of day we venture out and see that the worst damage has taken its toll on the garden. Holes in the two foot around squash leaves, the dipper gourd vines hang shredded along the fence and tomatoes lay on the ground. I pick them up and put them in the kitchen window to ripen. At least they will be salvaged. And at least that is the worst of it. No horses or cows permanently harmed, just frightened and maybe bruised here and there.

Oklahoma’s weather is unpredictable this time of year. For all of my life I have watched the sky for storms. They do not frighten me, but they do make me cautious. Even with all of the electronic equipment used by the weather service there are some things that cannot be predicted. No station warned us of hail yesterday; just predictions of rain and wind and yet hail fell causing us to bolt out of a sound sleep. Oh to be like the grandsons and sleep through it all.

It occurs to me that I am not afraid of bad weather because I have faith that God will protect us through all of life’s storms. He protects us though dangerous things fall all around us. It is our belief in His protection that keeps us safe. I know in my heart that the garden will recover. I know that the livestock will too. And I know that no matter what nature throws at us, be it rain or wind or hail, that we may be surprised but not fearful. That’s how it works, that faith thing, we just believe and all is well.

*For more about Debra go to the Cowboy Poetry section at AlwaysCowboy.com.

RIDING DRAG with DEBRA COPPINGER HILL is featured each week at ALWAYS COWBOY where Debra is a Resident Western Poet. Join her and her Cowboy Friends for Cowboy Poetry, News & Events. http://alwayscowboy.net/debra_coppinger_hill_poetry.html

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