childhood

When you come out of the storm

You won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about.

Haruki Murakami

Many years ago when I was a kid growing up in the South Bronx there was a huge storm. My mother and I were in a store shopping for some items when everything became dark outside. And you could see people bracing against a fierce wind. A man came in hysterically screaming about a woman being blown away. I was a kid and I believed him. I was scared. I was scared to go outside. I was scared and worried for the woman. My mind kept running through different scenarios. My sense of empathy was through the roof. I grabbed my mom’s hand and she just smiled. We finished shopping and stepped outside. I didn’t want to. But my mother assured me that everything was going to be ok. And, indeed it was. Because we walked through a windstorm of sorts, I felt I was a fierce warrior. I didn’t know it then, but that is how confidence and courage are built.

We are often caught up in storms. I feel like one is constantly brewing. Sometimes it’s a small storm that just seems to darken the skies a little but nothing comes of it. Sometimes, they are epic storms. We are constantly being tested by these storms that come in and out of our lives. When it ends, when we come out of them, we are almost always stronger. We can be propelled forward by them if we allow ourselves to take stock.

I try not to create any storms but I just can’t seem to escape them. I feel like I should build myself one of those hurricane-resistant dome houses so that I can take refuge. But what would be the fun in that?

17 replies »

  1. Then there are well-meaning people who will do everything they can to isolate you from the storm or minimize its fierceness. And the lesson is lost. You learn to handle the great crises by handling the lesser ones.

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  2. I think the first thunderstorm I ever experienced was on a visit with one of our “wilder” family friends – Doreen Paramore and her family – all of whom had first names that started with “D” (including the youngest who was named Dale but was called Chip🐿️) They had a cabin in Big Bear. We had all trooped on foot, one fine summer’s day, to the nearest store. I remember running back to the cabin with mud being thrown up the back of our legs by the flip flops we wore. On my last trip “home” to So Cal, I think I experienced the first similar storm I have ever seen on a beach in that area. 🌩️ Climate change?

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