The storm rolled in as I left the doctor’s office. Routine, non-emergency medical check-up with my G.P. I won’t say the storm mirrored my mood, but let’s just say it was kind of apropos.
Thunder storms out here often arrive unannounced and unexpectedly. They drift over the plains states to our west and pick up steam just before they continue to drift over the Mississippi River and head east.
I don’t know these storms. When I was a child, growing up in Northwest Ohio, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie seemed to divert troubled weather north and south of us. If it wasn’t Detroit, then it was Columbus suffering under, what I thought at the time was, heavy rainfall.
No, the weather out here shames the storms I saw in Ohio.
But the storms that visit us are so very necessary.
My family and I have lived in Southern Illinois a little over 4 years now. The humidity in the Metro East is unbearable at times during the summer. Ohio can be muggy, but, out here some days, the humidity is thicker than the mists of Avalon.
Thunder storms bring cooler temperatures.
The past 48 hours have felt something like strong storms settling above me. I’ve met with my Provost, I’ve talked with the Assistant Director at the Writing Center where I serve as Director, I’ve begun opening up the emails, and I’ve tried to honor my truth and where I am.
No one is harsh. Everyone has been empathetic. And even more surprising (to my Depressed Brain, anyway) are the stories shared with me.
So many have come before me — down this tortured road. It’s funny, because I feel like I am digging a new highway. By myself. But that isn’t the truth.
Life happens. I know that. And we are tasked with the challenge of finding our way on our unique life journey.
Maybe our paths are closer than we realize. So when the storms stop by like an unexpected house guest, perhaps we can learn to smile — remembering that just before the calm, there is a storm. And then invite them in to rest.
[Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Smell the flowers — blow out the candles.]
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