Super-storm Sandy left us here in Manchester, NH, with few if any obstacles to climb over on our way back to life as normal. But before the storm left, she gave us a picture of something worth holding on to. As the storm moved itself into our space, Leah and I turned off the lights in our apartment before the Sandy could turn them off herself, and walked outside onto the porch, to sense with as many faculties as possible, a power that is so grand and beyond anything we could pretend to control. We stood on the porch laughing in wonder and anticipation about what would be. I remember the wind blowing the trees back and forth and back and forth in a way that we were convinced they would snap and consume our neighbors house at any moment.
We didn’t stay outside long. The sideways rain was pelting and drenching us. We stayed out long enough, however, that when we turned to go inside both of our hearts and minds were full of a sense of wonder and gratitude and smallness. We walked into our modest apartment feeling so thankful for a place so warm and dry and comfortable. In the face of something that has so much potential to tear apart everything (and for many did); and us, with no protest, just surrender and awe. We want to work to keep this perspective at the front of our consciousness. This (wonder)full disposition of a recognition of our smallness and the universe’s bigness and power over us. Yes, who am I?
Four or Five years ago I was in North Carolina for a wedding when a hurricane, whose name escapes me, told us all about who she was the night before the wedding celebration. We had rented a house on stilts on the water so we were there to experience it all. We went outside as she raged and found the beach had become part of the ocean and the waves would roll themselves right to the foot of our abode. We stood into the wind and could lean, it seemed, at a 45 degree angle as the wind held us in it’s embrace and told us a similar story to Sandy about our powerlessness and insignificance. I remember walking up to the foot of the breaking waves and tempting fate as we cautiously let the waves crash into our bodies and knock us over. We would stumble to our feet only to have the next wave roll in and take our breath away in the same powerful motion. Again and again and again showing us something we could never fathom or control or come close to understanding. I remember laughing out loud because I didn’t have words for anything else. The whole wedding party witnesses to something so big and powerful and mysterious that it can teach life-long lessons of surrender and humility in only moments if we would only be aware enough to pay attention.
This blog post is part of a great creative effort. Click here to see other peoples contributions.