Here I go again, up to my fucking eyeballs in life lessons, challenges and growth. I love it and I hate it. It comes in waves, like a gentle sprinkle on a warm spring day. Or, it comes in a torrent like a violent desert storm. Life lessons come in all shapes and sizes, just like the rains. Also like the rains, those same life lessons create growth, rebirth, freshness a changed landscape. Opportunities to rebuild and grow, pause and reflect. Damn it, sometimes I just hate the rains.
We recently had a significant storm in my neck of the woods. We got just over an inch of rain in a few hours. Mind you, this place gets around 8 inches per year. I was driving home the night it hit. I had been watching a different storm most of the way and could see lightening in all my mirrors. I was heading directly into this storm and the light show was amazing.
Coming home for me is the “scariest drive ever” for others. I mean, you may not see another car for hours, if at all. There are no street lights or signs or many places to pull over. One is surrounded by mountains and vast desert landscape. While this makes my heart sing and my soul smile, it scares the shit out of your average city dweller. I was behind said tourist on this particular drive home. They were, of course, driving some gigantic truck thing with a car on back pulling a camper trailer. The speed limit here is 45 on a good day. Most of us who live here vary between 45 and 60. This dude was going 25. Hell No!!
I was completing a four hour return drive from a medical appointment out of town. Of course it was out of town! Anyway, I could smell the barn and was anxious not only to get home, but to pee, unload my Sam’s Club goodies and eat a decent meal. It had been a long haul.
Mr. 25 MPH was just not in the cards for me. It was windy but not yet raining. The storm was imminent and the light show over the mountains amazing. I broke one of my rules and passed on a double yellow line. To my credit, I could see ahead and I knew exactly where I was. I was not having it as I could feel the fear and uncertainty oozing from their rig. I just wanted home.
I made it, hit the potty, unloaded and then the storm him. It blew and rained hard. The next day the damage was apparent all over our neck of the woods. The river spiked to near flood stage and debris was scattered all over the roads. This storm left a mess that is still being cleaned up nearly a week later. There were a couple folks that got stranded and one staff person nearly swept off the road into a wash. Yeah, it gets dangerous.
OK, Michelle, but what is the point of your carrying on here? My point is that life lessons are just like these storms. Some of them are subtle and gentle and a welcome point of learning. Some of them are like a fucking brick to the head, like a tsunami, like the desert storm that hit the oblivious traveling tourist.
I am sort of dense and my greatest life lessons are tsunamis. Apparently, I need big and loud opportunities for change to take hold. Now that I have quieted most noise in my life I can “hear” my lessons and better notice when growth opportunities are offered. I do not always like it or go willingly. In fact, sometimes I am that tourist driving 25, scared and in unfamiliar territory, white knuckling that steering wheel. Sometimes I just close my eyes and hope for the best and sometimes I am very thoughtful and mindful and walk out into that storm grateful to receive.
These storms, or life lessons, create beauty and life and feed our soul. They also leave carnage and damage and a changed landscape behind. Nature, as in life, forces growth. Mother Nature will storm on you no matter where you live or how careful you are. Similarly, God and the Universe will storm on you and give you lessons and growth whether you like it or or want it or even notice.
Lessons can change create anxiety and stress and sometimes come with a fight. Storms create chaos and danger and noise and sometimes are unwelcome intruders in our space. Both are needed and necessary. Both offer opportunity for new life, new growth, deeper understandings. Both just are.
There is nothing like the smell of the desert after a storm. There is nothing like seeing your life from a new lens and with a new perspective.
Whether your lessons come as a gentle rain or una tormenta grande, let’s support each other through our storms. Let’s offer an ear, a hug, a place to vent, guidance when needed and a shovel to help clear the debris. Be the safe place in someone’s storm and value those that offer the same.
Cheers to the cycle of life, our storms and our rainbows.
Cheers to the beauty at the end!!