Before the Storm

The wind chases at your feet as you run for shelter.  You can feel the electricity in the air like a spark about to fly.  The trees sway and dance as the air blows through the arms and legs of these proud structures.

Lightening splits the sky in half blazing bright as fireworks and swift as fireflies. The thunder claps as if a god or other supernatural form is clapping in amusement at the torrent that approaches the face of the Earth.

Small drops begin to fall heard on the pavement, the roof of the bus stop, and the sharp, brisk sound as the drops hit a tin overhang. Even though the sounds of the busy streets are still heard, it is as if the world stands still at the falling of the first drops.  Creation and all that belong to it are frozen in a tiny moment that is missed by all but the most astute watchers.

This is a moment of perfection.

Soon the rain falls in heavy sheets, the wind picks up, and the sheets of rain turn every which way.  Umbrellas are turned inside out and people rush for shelter.  The thunder continues to clap and the lightening continues to flash.  The moment–that small barely perceptible moment–has passed.

But one can still see it, feel it, and sense it if you pay close enough attention.  It is in the falling of the rain, the changing colors of the leaves, and the smell of the Earth when the rain has run its course.


My Life

There are some pretty terrible things happening in the world right now.

Horrible destruction of life and property in the Philippines; failing diplomatic endeavors with Iran concerning its nuclear arms program; nations in debt; people being trafficked around the world–the list goes on and on.

I find myself thinking about things I consider “problems” in my life.  My Internet router has to be reset; I my eyeliner is constantly running in the humidity; I cannot find a place to stream my favorite television shows.

Then, I find myself thinking, “What the hell is wrong with you?  Your life is wonderful and cushy.  Stop complaining.”

But something a good friend told me many times is that things are what they are.

I am in no way trying to diminish the suffering of people throughout the world.  Death, destruction, manipulation, and injustice are absolutely horrific, and we should all do our best to help those in need and fight against the atrocities that exist in our world.

However, I think it is equally inappropriate to diminish your own struggles just because someone else is going through something that you define as harder or more trying than what you face on any given day.  I may not be living on the streets or be the victim of a terrible natural calamity, but the tough things I face are real and raw and difficult to me.

So if you find yourself belittling your circumstances, please stop.  You are where you are and it is your life to be lived.  Walk with pride, courage, and strength; keep your head up especially when life is trying to pull you down; love what you love, do what you do, and do not ever be ashamed of the life you are living.