The night before we left on our first big trip of the summer, Omaha experienced a freak hailstorm. In our part of town marble sized hail fell with heavy rain creating zero visibility and covering the ground like snowfall.
One of the themes of this sabbatical is theology dealing with climate change. I've already read a couple of books that help to address this crisis and have a few more to go. A hailstorm on the Plains is not itself evidence alone of climate change, but is a reminder of the extreme and weird weather we are now experiencing and is become a regular feature of our lives and futures.
Then, days later, the massive flooding occurred in Yellowstone. Our big summer trip in July is planned to Yellowstone. We had planned to visit my friend Barbara Ulrich in Gardner. She was posting pictures of the rising waters that day before having to evacuate. So for days we've waited to learn whether that trip will need to be changed. The latest communication from the National Park appears that most of our plans will be okay, but some will be canceled and modified, though we wait for further communication.
But with climate change one of the themes, Yellowstone this summer becomes one of the places the changes have been apparent. The Washington Post had a good article this week about all of the natural disasters that have already occurred and it isn't even officially summer yet.
Meanwhile, we enjoyed our first trip. We traveled to Minneapolis for Sebastian to spend some time with his family and then to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to visit one of his best friends and the family that used to be our nextdoor neighbors. Two years ago our former neighbors, the Rossittos, moved to the UP. One of their reasons was climate change. They wanted to go someplace where the effects of warming would be minimal, where there's abundant freshwater, and where they could buy land to live off of in case that becomes necessary.
Water was a theme of the trip as we saw lakes, rivers, waterfalls, canals. We visited beaches and went boating and canoeing. I had thought I might find some time at the Michigan lake house to write, but the muse never struck.
One day, while in Minnesota, as Sebastian played with his cousin, I read the theology book On Animals by the side of the Mississippi River. This book examines the key doctrines of systematic theology through the lens of prioritizing animals. Looking forward to seeing wildlife on that July trip.