Last night a cold front rolled into central Florida. In the early morning hours I awoke to the sounds of wind blowing through the trees, my wind chimes making music of nature, and rain falling. These are the melody of the wild, of the universe conducting a symphony no human could write.
Storms make me feel alive. No matter the time of day I love when a storm rolls through, but there is something about a nighttime storm that speaks to me. Maybe because in the night, in the darkness there is a stillness that daylight can’t know. When the sun is up most of the world is awake and everything is busy. Night in the silence brings an untamed mind. When there are no distractions then we can let our imagination grow. We can dream, plan, and open the gates in our brain. You know the gates, the ones we keep up so that we can focus on work, on chores, on getting everything done. The ones that block creativity, that keep us from walking in the woods of our mind… into the wilds where we can just run free. It’s easy to want to shut that down when the mind is running a dozen directions, so fast, and often into dark passages… However, there is a beauty in the untamed thoughts. Often I find that the most creative ideas come after I let my mind wander where it chooses for a bit before bringing it back to balance. Letting my mind wander like this also give opportunity to grow. Letting myself explore is often uncomfortable and not always pleasant, but it helps me to learn. Part of what I am learning is that letting my mind wander is not something I have to keep to myself. Some parts of the path are private, but other parts are good to share. It is also great to look out of that darkness and see light shining and a hand outstretched. Unspoken and spoken reminders that I am not alone in the darkness even when I am physically alone in it (note: this has been one of the hardest things to really wrap my brain around for a variety of reasons.)
To me the morning after a storm is filled with a stunning beauty that can only come after the ravages of a storm. Like this morning. The breeze lingered as the rain cleared. A morning walk in a wind stirred world as the sun broke through the clouds and bathed the world in it’s golden glow took my mind into new passages. The wind pulling me with it into flights of fancy, the tree limbs reaching out in a frenzied dance. Awakened and alive. Found in the wild of nature, of the weather. Perfect chaos. The energy that can be felt below my skin, in my veins, in my bones. This helps keep me “alive”, not just walking and breathing, but truly ALIVE! It keeps me moving forward and searching for the new paths, the wonder. This is when I remember that even though right now life may feel monotonous, that can and will change. I just have to start walking a direction and keep moving until I get there. The map isn’t drawn yet, it is in creation as I explore. There does not need to be a final destination. Just keep following what makes me feel alive. Stretching, growing, loving. Unbridled.
There’s beauty and creativity all around us. In the darkness, in the storms, in the morning light, in the bright sun, in the chill, and in the warmth. Outside of the beauty and creativity that exists I find that our growth in who we are follows the same type of path. There are times we learn and grow in ways that feel good and bright. Other times the learning comes in a storm, it can be brutal and we can feel like we are drenched in pouring rain while being whipped by strong winds. There is no right or wrong way to learn, because it is all about the lesson we take away. What is important to focus on in the learning that is more painful is that it doesn’t last forever. These lessons will move through like a strong storm does and the light will come, the sun will break through, and our lives will bloom. Nature cycles frequently, it never stays the same for long, yet there is a constant to it. This is how our lives are too. We often resist that, holding to keep it the way it is. My goal is to stay open to the seasons, the changes. Always using them as a prompt to improve, to grow, to explore myself and the world around me. Change cannot be avoided. It is the constant. I am striving to embrace it, to move with it, and to choose my path in it, and also to share it.
As I sit writing this piece I can hear the wind still creating it’s music, an orchestra of instruments created by nature. My soul is in harmony, even when it’s not. Nature reminding me that it brings storms to bring change. That rain cleanses and refills. That the chilly weather I have been longing for is usually ushered in by a cold front filled with the storms I love. This all works together perfectly, in ways we still don’t understand enough to predict accurately. Our lives are no different. We can’t predict them no matter how much we try. We can delight in the storms, we can dance with the wind, and we can absorb the warmth of the sun though… And we can live and learn through it all.
My heart is filled with gratitude for the few people who are part of my life, of this journey… encouraging it and loving me through it even when they don’t understand it. Maybe the most beautiful lesson that life is teaching me is that I am strong, but I am even stronger when I allow myself to be cared for by someone who truly wants to care for me. In that I am learning to reach beyond the world I have known and into a brightness, a love that is different than what I imagined throughout my life and all the more beautiful for those differences.