Outside my study window, hooligan winds snap and swish tree limbs, swirl brownish strips of bark near the plank fence, and truncate blooms of wild grasses strewn over the garden like a paisley dress. Intervals of quiet settle over the mayhem until droplets mushroom into rainfall smacking the iron-hard earth. Then, the intruders resume their mischief and another cycle of stripped leaves spins with violence.

High drama takes over like the Great Flood. Winds and wetness, change agents, set the stage for critical watering: No longer burnt grass, no longer limpid tree limbs, and no longer dried earthworms on sidewalks. The new watering has begun, with mud filling crevices, no longer yawning.

Something like this did occur in St. Louis, Missouri, after three blister-hot weeks. Spirits fried. Thirsts flared. Laughter muted.

I liken such fierceness, symbolically, to the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. In the wake of unspeakable destruction and loss of life, grief-sinkers mandate change and become a catalyst for acceptance and humility. A different kind of blooming occurs later.

Those afflicted will tell you this is the case.