It starts in a subtle and sensitive way. Far away across the mountain, a rumble begins to form that is imperceptible to human ears. A storm starts to brew in the distance and our first warning sign is the unease of a small dog. Hana begins to anticipate the coming weather before we even know it is there.
Hana has come to enjoy our travels together, but wherever we go, there is weather. And weather is unpredictable. As any new storm approaches, we abide with her, sad that she must undergo once again, the fear and the frustration of uncontrollable events. She only understands the anxiety of the moment and cannot anticipate the redemptive power of surrendering to the ebb and flow of life. She only knows it will come and does not understand that it will also go.
As the wind begins to gust and howl and the heavy rain thunders on the camper roof, her slight anxiety swells into a state of fright that is distressing to watch.
The storm, a parable for life’s way of throwing unexpected and unwelcome events our way, has not only snatched the promise of a quiet afternoon of lying outside on her favorite rock, but it has invaded her life with palpable peril.
She finds refuge where she can….in a corner, curled into a ball, in a favorite bed or pacing the floor endlessly while the wind howls and bays. After it subsides, she is exhausted and carried away by peaceful dreams………she must dream of being swept up by a gentle breeze and floating up above the thick dark clouds and into clear skies. As the sunshine peeks through, she forgives the rain quickly and continues on with her doggie plans for day. Barking at the chipmunks and watching for the dog walkers who she feels are encroaching on her qweendom.
And the pattern does not change, only the location. The storms come and go. As Henry Miller memorably put it, “All is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis.” The very weather itself, even life’s stormiest spells eventually come to pass. Although we cannot will them away, we can surrender to the belief that the unclouded blue skies will return. Meanwhile, maybe those cloudy days make us think more clearly? Maybe they make us appreciate the contrast’s that nature offers to the human experience? Do we need the dark days to appreciate the light? All are questions to ponder.