Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Storm

Perched on a hillside, on the edge of a forest, looking down upon a valley in the lush foothills of a magnificent mountain sits the house I grew up in. During the winter there are storms that rip through this town which is tucked next to a mountain range to the east and the west is the sea. The winter storms that rip through the heart of the Pacific northwest pack a punch and blow through the seemingly quiet county without reprieve. Howling winds rip through tall trees, these northeastern winds are forces to be reckoned with. The winter winds come from a dark barren landscape to the north bringing with them an intensity that try the mightiest of creatures from the grand cedar trees to the flannel wearing rednecks.

There is only so much wind those sturdy cedar trees that canvas the the few acres around our house can with stand. When the gusts start to wail, the trees begin to moan and sway, bending in the wind. Trees are limber and have evolved give when the forces bear down. They take the blows that puts their strength and elasticity to the true test of resolution. Of course, some trees break under the pressure. They crash with horrible commotion. It sounds raw, boisterous and roaring with bruit power. Come springtime every year we would make huge piles of fallen trees to burn, cleaning up after the usual storms.


There is a limit to the strain an object can endure. Seemingly strong, stoic creatures of the earth fall victim to forces beyond their power.

At the end of the storm, there is always damage, minor or catastrophic. Loss and destruction. The wreckage must be assessed and ravage accounted for then cleared before the long dark next winter winds sweep through.

As a child, I never could sleep through these wind storms, I would lay awake in my bed listening to the windows resist the gusts, straining, moaning and the trees, the trees screeching as the moved with the forces of the northeast winds. Now that I am hundreds of miles away, surround by sagebrush and tumbleweed with not a tree in sight, I get a little uneasy when the winds start to growl. I wait for the talking trees, for the trees to contend to the wind and each sound their battle cries.

The only storms I feel now are the winds raging in my soul and the storms brewing in the ones of who I deeply care for. I see their trouble and feel my inner turmoil. I can not ward off the forceful blows trying to knock down the spirit. There will always be storms, some times they are large and leave a massive path of destruction. These are the storms that keep me up late at night, listening to the winds and trying to find comforting thoughts in the commotions. I feel small and powerless against these dark winters and cloudy world in which we live.

We are fragile. The human spirit can compromise and adjust but there is a limit to the endurance of all creatures. We can bend in the wind but we need to understand when the breaking point is coming, and unlike the storms that blow through the long dark winter months, storms battle continuously at our hearts and souls. A tree could not stand alone and survive a storm, neither can the human soul, there is strength in numbers and security in the forest.

I often find myself trying to be that lone tree, trying to stand on my own. When the winds blow, I have no protection or buffer from the elements. Trees can grow, relationships can build and communities can rebuild. Be part of each others forest, be part of my forest and I will try my hardest to be a part of yours.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new end.

Maria Robinson

1 comment:

  1. Great telling, love how you made me feel like I was there for the after mass of the storm. Well written today.

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