“My pain builds like storm clouds—massive, dark, and heavy with teardrops. Moisture falls torrential as if my world is a violent, eternal downpour; however, at long last the source runs dry and the bitter storm does cease. Blue skies dare to glow where the gloom has dissipated. I breathe it in, hoping to cleanse my inner soul.”
I’ve had all kinds in my long life.
Death of Baby Storm. End of 30 Year Marriage Storm. End of Career Storm.
Even End of Health Storm.
In one way or another they all tore my life apart. They all pulled the earth out from under my feet, kept me from breathing and from seeing the sun or the sky…or from seeing anything as I once saw it.
Their clouds blinded my eyes and broke my heart; so ominous that I thought I would be sucked into each gaping maw only to drown there. Their voices so loud that I could not hear myself think.
We all try to survive storms.
We go to therapy to work them out of our minds.
We go to yoga to work them out of our bodies.
We go to temple, or to church,
“Please, please take this from me,” we plead.
“Please give me peace.”
We are in pain and we cry out.
Like so many others have done, I did everything I could to stay upright. To stay afloat. To keep from being crushed or being swallowed up by life’s storms.
I went to the gym.
I hiked in the mountains.
Went on retreats.
Changed my diet.
But mostly I held on through the battering and just kept trying to get through.
Finally, the long, dark days had passed.
Finally, the years (was it years?) had gone by and I awoke one morning and thought:
Finally, I opened my eyes and saw that I was on the edge of a mountain looking back at the valley in which the storm had once terrorized and all was quiet.
I could feel the quiet—in my heart and in my bones—and I wept quiet tears and I said to my storm:
“Good bye, storm.”
And then I thought, “No!”
I would miss my storm. I would miss the insights it gave me. I would miss its insistence that even if one way was the wrong way to go—or the other was the right way to go—I had to keep going.
When I was in the middle of my storm I never thought I would miss it. But then, when it was over I realized that while I had thought it was my enemy it had also been my friend, my teacher and my midwife. I saw that it was the crucible from which I had withdrawn new precious metals and that it was the womb from which I had given birth to a new precious self.
“Thank you, storm.”
And I put my hands together and bowed my head and felt gratitude.
“Thank you,” I said. “Thank you for breaking me open and for showing me how to be bigger on the inside than you were on the outside.
Thank you for teaching me that it is true.
There are some things you can only learn from a storm.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Hartwig HKD