And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.
~ Haruki Murakami
I grew up near the water, I grew up being lulled at night by the sound of the ocean crashing against the shore, sometimes I still imagine the peaceful sound of waves hitting the sand. My grandfather and great-grandfather taught my brothers and me how to swim when we were knee-high or maybe before. It’s been so long it’s difficult to say when my first swimming lesson was. One thing that I always remembered though was my great-grandfather saying telling me, “if your arms and legs ever get tired, roll on your back and float!” Back then sometimes I would float just for the fun of it. There’s something about the sun hitting your face with the waves carrying you like a baby in its mother’s arms and hearing the sound of your heart beating in your ear, that made life wonderful. It takes a lot of concentration to float on water, you have to imagine yourself, light as a feather, your mind has to be clear because it’s easy to just sink to the bottom like a brick if you lose your thought. In that moment of floating on your back, nothing else matters, you are one with the water and if you listen carefully enough, I’m sure you could hear the voice of God through the waves. Can you imagine that?
When life decides to put another mountain in front of you, one higher than the one you’ve just conquered, you always return to something or somethings that brings you peace and clarity. For me, it’s going back to my roots, the foundation of my life. The past few weeks I’ve been floating, not on water, but through life. I’ve gone through the motions of fear, anger, pain and why US! My arms are tired of swimming against the waves, my legs are tired from walking through the forest of hopelessness, so before I sink to the bottomless pit of despair, with my arms are stretched wide, my face is against the sun. I’m floating, living in the flow of NOW, waiting for that still voice of God to assure me that all will be well. In the silence, I can hear my heart beating, I can hear the whispered prayers of the past few weeks echoing in my ear and if I listen hard enough, I can still hear the waves crashing against the shore lulling my soul.
Scott Hutchinson said it best when he said, “Pause momentarily before everything you do so that you notice everything you should or could notice.” Though we may not realise it at the time, the lessons we learn, either from our family, friends or situations we’ve been through are always there to carry us through difficult times. When we hit a bump in our lives, we get that flash. Sometimes it may take a while before we understand which lesson to apply to a certain situation but eventually, we get it, that is our “Ah-ha” moment. The recognition that, this is something I can’t control and the realization that hey, this too shall pass.
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©Etta D. Richards