Notes from the Waxhaws

After the storm

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It was chilly this morning…temperature touching 43 degrees. But I couldn’t pass up sitting out on the porch with my cup of coffee. Some wispy, innocent-looking cirrus clouds high in the pale blue sky…the sun rising over the trees. Many birds of all kinds were busily singing: the deliberate, flute-like tones of the mourning dove; cackling crows; the squeaky wheel sound of the blue jay; cardinals; and many others for which, unfortunately, I haven’t yet learned their calls. The calm after the storm.

While I enjoy the sound of thunder, especially in the early morning when a gentle rain is falling, the kind of storms that moved through here the past few days are definitely not welcome. There’s a perceptible malevolent presence in the atmosphere as they relentlessly make their approach. You know they’re coming, but there’s little you can do other than wait it out, and hope and pray for the best. Knowing that the odds are probably not great that destruction will come my way doesn’t make it easier, especially when thinking about all the people whose lives have unexpectedly been devastated and disrupted in the past week.

Storms of all kind pass through our lives, though. Some…we can see approaching…while others, come like a bolt from the blue, without any warning. They’re an inevitable part of life, and something we must learn to live with…and perhaps learn from. What we choose to do after the storm passes…well, that’s really up to us as survivors. Storms come and go in our lives…and they will come again…that’s a certainty. They’re an unavoidable part of this life that we’ve been given. For myself, they’re a continual test of faith versus fear…even while knowing that, ‘Perfect love casts out fear.’ 

Thomas Merton once wrote of a pointe vierge, a virgin point, that occurs every morning, when the darkness of night yields itself to daybreak. At this time, all of nature asks for permission to continue its existence. This morning, I close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on my face…and simply listen. The wind is softly rushing through the pines…the frogs are courting…and the birds are holding, God only knows what kind of, conversations among themselves…or perhaps, asking permission and giving thanks for another day? And then…lo and behold…there’s the mockingbird…back after the winter…and starting all over again…

Written by Jim

March 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

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