A quick, massive thunderstorm storm ripped through the Chicago area this morning. I was practicing yoga downtown after teaching a Mysore class, and didn't notice just how violent it was.
Apparently the microburst included something called a derecho -- a short, violent windstorm with sustained straight line winds that can exceed 100 mph.
When I got home, I saw a fallen tree completely blocking the road.
Neighbors were milling about, pointing and talking about the parked car it had crushed.
(One of the positive side effects of minor natural disasters and fires is that they bring people together; there hasn't been this much unity and talking-to-strangers on the street since February's record-breaking blizzard).
Turns out there wasn't just one car crushed by the tree; a closer inspection revealed a second one hidden underneath.
You could just make out the SUV grill peeking through the leaves.
Apparently the driver was passing by at the exact moment the tree fell.
He was OK, according to the neighbors.
But the tree was not.
It made me sad, since I am convinced that trees (even ones condemned by the city last year) feel pain.
So I patted it and did a few Tryambakams for it.
aum tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭi-vardhanam
urvārukam iva bandhanān mṛtyor mukṣīya māmṛtāt
(LATER: I suppose the cars also feel the pain......time for more Tryambakams!).