Today is a special friend’s birthday. She’s Another Blonde, also known among our posse as TrailMistress Z. We are hiking pals and best buddies. Take my word for it: she’s terrific. I told her as much on the phone this morning. I’m in Colorado Springs for a few days and she is at home in northern California, so I couldn’t affirm her wonderfulness in person. My praise for her may have been a tad heavy: she offered up the idea that she could be Jesus’ Sister. Maybe it’s the altitude or the location — “Mecca” for Serious Christians, home of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family empire, with evangelical churches heavily interspersed with local strip malls — but her self-proclaimed status seemed reasonable.
No need for discussion on the theological merits of her claim. It’s her birthday and we’ll just go with it.
This gives me a way for me to slide into the Real Topic for Today: tomorrow is MAY 21, and if you’ve heard of Harold Camping, you also have heard that May 21 marks the start of the End of Days. The beginning of the Rapture. Harold’s followers have been running creatively font-y, warning-laden, full-page ads in newspapers, like USA Today. They believe it’s their duty to warn the rest of us that believers will be “raptured to heaven” and over the next few months, the rest of us will be toast. Done in by worldwide earthquakes and hellacious storms. (Evidently, Harold miscalculated the last time he predicted this, in 1994. They say people get wiser with age, so at 89, Harold might have acquired wisdom as well as a better calculation system.)
As I said, I’m in Colorado Springs, home to many believers. At this time of year, late May, the days are typically sunny and bright and clear. For some reason, strangely cold, windy and wet weather has been happening. Just yesterday, a small tornado touched down nearby, preceded by gumball-sized hail and howling winds. The skies went black with low, dense cloud cover. I checked the national weather map and it shows this part of our country with a different color than the rest of the USA.
Pikes Peak dominates the region. I just took this picture so you can see how snowy and spooky it looks. What you can’t see is how fast the dark clouds are rolling around. Take this one on faith, too. Every time a sliver of sun tries to poke through, a nasty cloud hurries up to keep things ominous.
It looks pretty scary. I’m not saying I believe Harold Camping. But just in case his arithmetic works this time around, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And, Nancy… go ahead and eat a really big piece of birthday cake. The calories might not matter tomorrow.