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Drip, drip, drip, by day and night  by Alexandra Harris

Weather, in the Christian narrative, is part of the punishment for our first disobedience. Genesis gives no hint of changeful weathers in Eden, and writers from the Anglo-Saxon poet of The Phoenix onwards have basked in fantasies of that first perfect climate. Milton imagined „vernal delights” all year round, replete with perfumed breezes, and the mist which first went up from the earth „and watered the whole face of the ground”. Cast out into time, we are thrown into a weathery world. Milton imagined in horror the second round of creation that made our climate: the pushing of the Earth on to its tilted axis, the divine instructions given out to the winds to storm and bluster across its surface.

For most of the last millennium weather events have been understood as the purposeful language of heaven, sequels to the first dire flood. In the 16th and 17th centuries particularly, every storm was strenuously analysed for its message and the nation was exhorted to repentence. Those directly affected had not only to negotiate ruined homes and farms but moral labyrinths of guilt.

The Severn flooded in 1607, drowning livestock across Wales on one side, Somerset and Gloucestershire on the other. These „wonderfull overflowings of Waters”, said the pamphlets hurriedly churned out by printers (with apocalyptic woodcuts and many capital letters), were worse than anything seen in recent times. „Our punishment is greater, because our treason against God is more horrible.” There was little agreement about the precise treasons that had brought dow

 

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Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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