What with one thing and another, I have been thinking about storms. Perhaps it was the frenzy in the supermarket last Friday as everyone stocked up with food, milk, water – anything – in preparation for the impending power outages as snow would start to fall early evening of the same day. It was predicted to last for tens of hours, and who knew what might happen.
Maybe it was watching at the window as sheets of snow fell endlessly under dark grey skies. It brought out the best in us: Cooking up a large pot of nutritious and delicious soup; or neighbors teaming up to dig each other out of piles of snow in driveways and on sidewalks. Forced to stay indoors I met new challenges: Like how to just do nothing; or finding myself like a robotic, zombie sitting on the couch in front of the television screen staring at hours of weather reports.
Last night I dreamt of high seas and rolling waves. Especially the kind of tsunami like wave that rises up high suddenly and crashes over walls swallowing up crowds. I woke up and lay quietly in bed wondering about storms. The calm or frenzy before, and picking up the pieces to return to old routines after. Are we always just the same after a storm? Or have we learned anything? Did the trauma or exhilaration change us? Or do we pick ourselves up and move on as if nothing happened?
I am always amazed at how I survive over and over again. I have lived through snow, rain and thunder storms; divorce and death storms; health scare storms; breaking up with darling friends; or losing people I never thought I would lose. Storms within and without. Each time picking up the pieces has a different feel. Sometimes I limp for awhile or stretch out bruised hands from bashing at piles of ice blocking access to our driveway. There have been times when my heart felt broken, and I feared I would never smile again.
After the storm there are torn and broken azalea plants or trees with shattered limbs, and yet when the sun shines feebly through the weakening clouds, I seem to rise up over and over again, returning to old, familiar routines … feeding the cats, watering plants, answering telephones and texts … and face the new day with some small, renewed sense of patience, understanding, or, even wisdom.
Although all that becomes clear much later …
A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Living the rewrite: Part II