Finding peace in the storm

In case you hadn’t heard by now, we had an historic blizzard this past weekend here in PA.

More than three feet of snow fell in Carlisle, trapping us all in our houses and shutting down literally everything – even the post office [which, for my foreign readers, is a very, VERY big deal here in the US. It basically never shuts down] was closed.

I was forced to stay indoors for the weekend  — so I did something I rarely do:

NOTHING.

That’s right.

I gave myself permission to have an entire weeknd of non-productivity.

For those of you who know me in real life, you’ll know just how unusual this is.

I don’t sit still well.

I don’t have an ‘idle’ setting.

I’m happiest when I’m working on a few of my ‘projects’.

But this weekend, as the snow raged outside the windows, I chose to STOP.

To watch the snow fall.

To listen to the sound of the heavy silence that descended over the downtown.

Friday night, I put my car in the Pomfret Street parking garage, and walked the few blocks back home. The snow had just started at that point, and there was already about 6 inches on the ground. As I walked down Pitt St, I found myself humming a song that I hadn’t thought about since high school – it’s by Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band:

“Sometimes he calms the storm, with a whispered ‘peace be still’

He can settle any sea but it doesn’t mean he will

Sometimes he holds us close

And lets the wind and waves go wild

Sometimes he calms the storm

And other times he calms the child”

The blizzard swirled outside, and yet, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm as I made my way peacefully through the weekend, occasionally humming that song. I may not completely believe the theology behind it any more [that god ‘lets’ things happen to us], but the sentiment holds true.

Sometimes, life is on a really even keel, and it’s easy for a few weeks. That’s where I’ve been since the first of the year. First Night is over, I’ve settled into the place I’m living for the next several months, I’ve started creating with clay again…..it’s been a nice chance to breathe.

And then, like the blizzard that started suddenly, and earlier than expected– life got stormy again. I had the peace of a truly wonderful weekend with myself, and then outside forces started to batter.

Something that I’ve held dear is now gone.

And my heart hurts.

I’m sad.

I’m hurt.

I’m confused.

And I have to find that peace once again.

Because life is going to keep happening.

Life happens. People disappoint us. Institutions can crumble. Society changes. Our bodies don’t cooperate. It’s all a part of living – of being human.

As someone wiser than me reminded me nearly 15 years ago, “Feeling all that *stuff*  reminds you that you are not a brick.”

So…..it’s time

Time to pray.

Time to reflect.

Time to cry, if necessary [so far, I haven’t needed to do that]

Time to drink tea and look out at the snowy white landscape and count my blessings.

Because it’s when the winds and waves go wild that I need that inner peace more than ever.

So it’s time to give thanks for the time, for the experiences, for the thoughts and the moments…

To grieve the loss

And celebrate the memory

To calm the child.

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