Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

June 16, 2020
We can find and provide welcome shelter from the storms of life

“Did you hear that wind blowing all night and morning?” Annie, my daughter, said as she walked into our kitchen for breakfast.

Her words seemed to blow the dust from my memory and I recalled what former Utah Governor Charles Mabey (governor 1921 to 1925) said about such big blows.

Speaking of wind, he wrote, “Every resident… can tell his own personal story of the wind and its pranks. When he sits in his room and listens to the creaking timbers, the straining roof and the rattling windows and watches the panes of glass bend inwardly from the pressure, wondering whether the house can stand the added burden if the window should go out.

“As he sees his neighbor’s haystack, or his barn door, or his roof go sailing, he knows there is nothing he can do about it. He must sit there and take it.

“Man feels his utter helplessness when any of the primal forces gets out of control and there is no parallel to the thoughts that come on such occasions… But even bad east winds pass away and after them comes the calm.”

Later during the same still windy day, Governor Maybe’s words were still breezing through my mind as I drove west on state Route 201, thinking it seems as if innumerable “bad east winds” are causing you and me to feel the same “utter helplessness” Governor Mabey described. While we’ve had our share of high velocity southerly winds lately, perhaps the most taxing winds we face are current economic and social gales. Such thoughts caused me to slow my car a little and then pull over at the historical marker for “Toronto’s Cave.”

In Utah’s early days, this roadside cave provided travelers with a natural and welcome shelter for both man and beast. In 1860 it served as a Pony Express Station and later it morphed into a stopping place for the overland mail. It’s named after Joseph Toronto who was one of the early pioneer owners. 

“Welcome shelter!” I said noticeably, while reading that historical marker’s text before climbing back into my car and increasing my speed once again toward home.  

Over the past few months, our homes have, perhaps for the first time, become our homes rather than just a house. When a house becomes a home, it becomes a welcome shelter.  

Imaginably, the very best example of this magical transformation was described to me recently by my friend Ren Knudsen when he said, “We’ve lived here for more than forty years now. We raised our children and they bring our grandchildren here. They all still love it. They know it’s more than just a house; it’s where our memories of love and safety are; it’s where our hearts are. It’s hard to visualize ever leaving this, our place.”

Listening to Ren’s description of what a welcome shelter is made it easy for me to see the importance of reducing the speed of life, as well as the number of invited intrusions. When I visit him, he’s completely focused on our conversations as well as on building our relationship. Time in his home is never spent competing with a television, radio or other electronic device. We talk. I learn about his children and their spouses. I see photos of his grandchildren and their accomplishments. I feel warm, safe, and welcome when I’m there. Life’s troubles seem to be held at bay, even though we know the wind is still fiercely blowing “out there.” And as a result, somehow, when I’m in Ren and Linda Knudsen’s home I no longer feel neither helpless nor hopeless.

People only feel utter helplessness when primal forces get out of control and they have no welcome shelter to turn to. The welcome shelter we can offer our families, friends and neighbors right now is more than a match for the continuous, ferocious winds blowing around us. Because our welcome shelters confirm, to our hearts, that all bad winds will pass away and an expected calm will then come and will simply be a welcomed companion to the calm we created during the raging storm.

 “Did you hear that wind blowing all night and morning?” Annie, my daughter, said as she walked into our kitchen for breakfast.

“Yes,” I replied. “Wasn’t it wonderful to be here, together, in peace, comfort, love and safety?”

Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.

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