Are You There?
A couple of hours ago a storm blew into our area with winds and thunder but no rain, at least for us. I was on the couch with my earbuds in. This is why I didn’t hear the storm or our Siberian Husky, Trooper, come into the living room and sit down right next to me and stare. Suddenly I had a feeling of being watched and I looked in his direction to find his face a few inches from mine. It startled me! “What are you doing?” When I heard the thunder I realized he was looking for comfort. I patted him on the head, scratched ears and told him it was; “okay.” I guess he heard and understood because he went back to his favorite spot on the foyer floor and laid down. He’s still asleep now.
In times of uncertainty, calamity, unsettledness, and fear, what we want, need to know if someone is there for us. As adult humans, we understand that a person’s presence might not fix or solve the problem but it does remind us we are not abandoned. It is one of the deepest longings at the heart of existence; the assurance that on this journey call life, we don’t walk alone.
On Saturday afternoon I burned a pile of branches, old newspapers, and other miscellaneous items. The smell of the ashes and leftover debris lingered in the air the next day. I had forgotten to grab an old wooden rocking chair out of the reading room which also needed to be disposed of. When I noticed it Sunday afternoon I wondered if the smoldering ash would still be hot enough to do anything. I took the chair out, broke it into several pieces and put some under the coals, which were still a faint orange, and put the rest in a pile on top. I checked it after a while and noticed the smoke had increased. About an hour later the wood was ablaze with a good flame. It didn’t take long to consume it once the fire restarted. Not too long afterward the chair was gone.
I wrote last week about the struggles I have when February rolls around. Many years have passed but the layers of hurt, anger, and uncertainty still lay buried, ready to ignite when fuel is added. What I try to do, instead of dwelling on the past, is not feed the flames. When I am aware and notice my mind drifting back to the place of pain I find a place to breathe. I close my eyes and take deep breaths. I remind myself of the truth that I cannot change the past but I can be present in the now. Does it always work? No. Does it work? Yes. Maybe one day I will be healed, maybe not, but I don’t want to give up on living today because of the difficulties of yesterday.
Lack of Information –
The last few weeks I have been dealing with a situation of which I have a limited amount of information. In fact, I’ve had enough information to make one decision or another without knowing how it’s going to work out in the end. It’s a difficult place to be and an even harder place to stay and find peace. It’s nothing life threatening though it could have life-altering consequences.
Situations such as this one can be the source of stress, ruminations and endless supplies of; “What ifs…?” However, I have found myself embracing the moment and repeating a wisdom quote; “If this happens you’re still breathing, still alive, still on the journey of your life. If that happens…same.”
It reminds me of the proverb;
“When confused; chop wood, eat your dinner, sleep.
When enlightened; chop wood, eat your dinner, sleep.”
It’s hard to be in those places of uncertainty as we walk along the path but sometimes it cannot be avoided. So, I place one foot in front of the other and know sooner or later the way will become clear.
It’s been raining all day, since yesterday. Non-stop dripping, dropping, sometimes a mist others times buckets, of precipitation. It’s muddy, cold, windy…yucky.
Out in my workshop there is an area where the roof dips and water likes to gather. Most days it’s not a problem but with all the rain we’ve had the last couple of days, and forecasted for the next couple, it’s going to become an issue. I have buckets at the ready, the location cleared of anything water could damage and now its a waiting game to see if the puddle on the plastic roof gets big and full enough to make its way into the workshop.
In life its the opposite. Anger, anxiety, stress, despair, pain, hopelessness, pool inside of us as the storms of life batter and beat us. We do our best to be prepared for the worst but sometimes reality supersedes our greatest fears and dreaded expectations.
Sooner or later what the storms bring into our life have to come out. Emotions in themselves are not negative or positive. It is what we do with them, how we react to them, ways that may inflict pain upon ourselves or others that is good or bad. When the rain of life falls and keeps falling, when we are drowning in stress, rage, disbelief and can’t see an end to the chaos we run the danger of pulling those who would help us under the waves.
Wisdom reminds us how important it is to deal with our feelings, draining away the unpredictability and hardships life can drop upon us. Knowing how to deal with chaos and catastrophes may just save us and those we love.