Weathering the Storms of Life

summer-storm-life.jpg

I hear the rumble first. That low heavy groan, like a mountain of stones toppling in the distance.  The wind shifts, sending a cool breeze through open windows. And then it hits. Gathering steam, she comes in with a fury – a torrent of wind and rain lashing out at everything in sight. Sticks flying, leaves swirling, rain pelting at the window panes. My heart quickens as I dart from window to window peering out to watch nature’s display of authority. Scary, but simultaneously evoking a sense of wonder. Wild. Bold. Beautiful. This summer thunderstorm.

 As I watch the trees bending under heavy gusts of wind, I am amazed at their resilience. It reminds me of how I too have managed to weather storms in life. How in the chaos, the hurt and the unknown of how to overcome, a sense of knowing resides deep down within that this too shall pass and that I’ll still be standing when it does. Perhaps a little ragged around the edges, but a little wiser too, a little stronger and with roots digging down a bit deeper to anchor me as I stand back up tall. 

 

lightning-storm-life.jpg

The rain is falling so fast that the water pours over the top of the gutters. I’ve felt that way in life too - life happening so fast that I can’t keep up. Out of control. Flash! Kaboom! A lightning strike hits close to home. My heart jumps, then races, but I’m still here. I’m still standing. I’m okay.      

Dad always used to say that lightning strikes bring nitrogen to the soil and are good for the growth of summer crops. A quick Google search confirms this. (The air around us is comprised of about 78% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. Yet nitrogen in the air can’t be accessed by plants. The electric charge and intense heat in a lightning strike causes nitrogen molecules in the air to bind to oxygen molecules, forming nitrogen oxides. These fall from the sky or are collected by the falling raindrops, showering plants with a form of usable nitrogen.) I ponder how it’s the strikes in our life too that bring the most growth, whether we like it or not. Perhaps the key to how easily and quickly we recover is how we prepare for these strikes. How we have set up the ability to seek shelter. How strong the foundation is when trauma occurs. Whether there is a support system to lean on when tragedy strikes. This preparation makes all the difference in how hard we crumble and fall and how long it takes us to pick up the pieces. For they will come, these storms. And they will pass and we will be forever changed as they move through.

This year has been like the rage of a hurricane on humanity. Scarcely anyone remains untouched. Many have fared the worst, catching the virus and passing on. Others are left behind to pick up the battered pieces, some with very little means to do so and dwindling hope for the future. Others have worn weary of the demands and the changes and are just ready to move on. Some have moved on. And regardless of how prepared each of us were individually, here we are now trying to make the best of it, as we move through it and move on.

 

tree-storm-sunset.JPG

No matter where you are and how you have been affected, one of the most accessible lifts for the spirit is right at our fingertips. It’s a focus on the simple things that can light tiny sparks of joy in our hearts and keep us strong. Those simple little joys that bring us back to the present moment. That bring us back to normal life that goes on no matter what is happening in the larger society as a whole. The little things that are still left after a storm rages through. If you are struggling to keep a chin up with all that has been thrown at you this year, a focus on the simple things just may help you weather this storm of 2020 as well.

 Here are a few that first come to my mind. I’d love for you to add to the list by adding your own in the comments below. I’ll collectively add any suggested to the list with your names so we can share these simple thoughts collectively. May your week be filled with sparks of joy from the simple moments such as these. xo Julie

  • A kind smile

  • A helping hand

  • A bright flower

  • Rays of sunshine

  • A first tooth

  • A fresh tomato

  • A warm pie

  • A clean kitchen

  • A roof overhead

  • A call from a friend

  • Spitting watermelon seeds

  • A summer breeze

  • The smell of fresh cut grass

  • Puppy kisses

  • Skinny dipping

  • Dancing in a warm summer rain

  • A campfire

  • Roasting marshmallows

  • A long, strong hug from a loved one

  • The smell of freshly washed sheets

  • A perfect cup of coffee

  • The glow of a candle

  • The beauty of a sunset

  • Belting out a song as you cruise down the highway

  • The breeze in your hair as you bike down a hill

bright-pink-flower.JPG

Leave a comment