Maybe it’s because I spent the last four years living so far from the coastline, but it feels like every week I get pummeled by some Category 4 severe thunderstorm.
There is a haunting quality to the calm before those storms. The darkened sky settles over the backyard outside my kitchen windows. Every single leaf on every single tree settles into place.
And then, only then does it begin.
I’ve spent more than one Friday night cooped up in my bathroom, laptop on my legs, thinking I should’ve plugged my phone in to its charger in case the power went out.
And probably, I’m insane, but there is some charm in that. There is some charm in thinking that your connection with the rest of the world might sever itself in the next twenty minutes.
Just like that, though, it ends.
When it ends, I’m just grateful for my electricity. For a phone that will call home if I hit two buttons and wait long enough. I’m grateful that my half-gallon of milk won’t spoil and my chicken breasts won’t defrost and my shower will still turn on.
It’s a feeling I need to apply to the rest of my life: that simple feeling of sureness, even in the knowing that just last month, the store down the street didn’t have power for days. More than a week, even.
This too shall pass. This too shall pass.
I have the ability to let catastrophe crop up, wreck me, and leave me exhausted in half an hour. And I don’t remember that with two breaths and a list of steps, I can turn catastrophe to calm.
It’s the only storm I forget how to weather. The only calmness that never comes soon enough. The only fear that this Category 4 disaster won’t be quick, but last for days and days.
It never does.
I wish we could wrap our fingers around that sentence and know it when the darkness starts settling in. But it’s like those storms, going unnoticed until the thunder rumbles and the wind whistles and we realize it could go one of two ways: the split second before complete downpour or the slow building on the radar from green to yellow to red.
We have a choice, in the green, to never reach red. We have that choice, even if the world outside our window doesn’t.
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