Prone to Wander


If you’re from the Midwest, you can feel a storm coming in your bones.  It’s the way the air feels on a hot summer day, the look of the clouds in the sky, and the way the sunlight bends through the haze.  There’s a certain stillness, as if the land around you is holding its breath in anticipation.   I spent every summer day outside as a kid.   You’d feel it mid-afternoon.  All the clouds would start boiling and bubbling… then you’d watch one or two of them pop up dramatically like massive mushroom clouds.

I loved storms as a kid, because they scared the bejeezus out of me.  When your parents don’t let you watch scary movies, Oklahoma thunderstorms were just about as close as you could get to a real thrill.  They were LOUD and HOURS long.   This isn’t just my childhood talking… every time I go home nowadays and witness a storm, I wonder at the power of it out there on the plains.   We’re talking pee-your-pants scary.   Here in Austin we may hear a couple rumbles and a couple loud bursts, but I’ve never witnessed the kind of intensity here that we have in Oklahoma.

It’s amazing to think about what’s really happening during the best thunderstorms.  There are invisible forces in the sky duking it out in a dramatic, titanic clash of power.  You’ve got sheer walls of cold air and hot air slamming up against one another like giant invisible elephants in a struggle to break free and move in the direction that each wants to go.  The sparks that fly during that struggle are truly epic to the innocent bystander.

But the struggle is also just nature’s way of clearing the air.  The best days are the days after a storm – the air almost visibly sparkles.  It rushes into your lungs like a delicious cool gulp of water. It’s the kind of day that makes you want to go run a mile, just because.

And I guess that’s what I’m getting at.  Change usually ends up being good.  But it doesn’t happen without some kind of struggle, some kind of epic clash as big things move about and slam against one another.   I know that for me, sometimes when I’m caught up in the struggle of a change, I get lost in it, and I lose sight of the fact that it’s a storm.  But the thing that I’ve learned about storms is – they pass.   Regardless of intensity – they pass. You can see much clearer afterward.  It’s funny how I don’t think that way more often about the struggles in life.  But, yes.  This too shall pass.

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