Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Facing Down the Storm

A little before two a.m., I was awakened by the storm. I wasn't surprised, for I knew it was coming. All anyone had talked about for days was this stream of bad weather coming in. And it was bad. I was awake for a long time, listening to the sound of spring raging in. At it's peak, it sounded as though the world was ending outside the window.

But it was not my window. I was not in my own home.

In The Witch of Portobello, Paulo Coehlo writes, in regards to storms, "I can see the storm approaching. Like all storms, it brings destruction, but at the same time, it soaks the fields, and the wisdom of the heavens falls with the rain. Like all storms, it will pass. The more violent it is, the more quickly it will pass. I have, thank God, learned to weather storms."

I weathered this storm not in my own home, but in the home of my Grandmother, who was recently widowed and afraid to spend a stormy night alone. Stormy nights alone are something I am so accustomed to facing, it was hard for me to rationalize that it might actually be frightening for someone else to endure. But sometimes being bold isn't about what you need or don't need. It is about using your strength to help another person feel safe. It's about showing a little compassion to someone who isn't used to being alone in a storm.

After a while, the winds died down and I knew that it was safe to return to sleep. Niether my son nor my grandmother, safe in seperate rooms, were awakened by the storm's noise. They both slept soundly through the night.

It would be nice not to always be the sentinel, but instead to be the one sleeping soundly, secure in the knowledge that someone else was on gaurd. But it's past 6 a.m. now, and I'm back in my own home. Soon I'll be getting ready to start the day. Rain falls gently outside.

I have, thank God, learned to weather storms.

1 comment:

  1. The roles we play in life shift over time. In the midst of raising children and earning a paycheck in a demanding career while attending school part-time, I also carried the fillial responsibilities for parents in their declining years (Dad's Alzheimers...sigh). I understand your wish to not be the sentury for once. Standing guard is character-building in many ways. These days, I am finding I must learn new lessons - one of them is to allow my daughter to care for me. I can see that as I get older I will inevitably move from the role of caregiver and sentry into that of the one cared for. Giving a gift vrs receiving a gift...both parties in that transaction must understand their role and how to be graceful and grateful in both giving and receiving. Thanks you for the opportunity to ponder these thoughts.
    On a Sunny Day Following the Storm