Tropical Depression Lee made its way through Alabama on Labor Day. We weren't able to spend the day at the lake as originally planned, and actually, didn't accomplish much of anything that day. We spent the evening lounging on our sofas in our pjs, listening to the howling winds and intermittent downpours of rain. Little Hannah huddled close beside me, fearful that the winds were much like those of a tornado. Truthfully, I was a little scared too because the top of the huge tree in our front yard kept looking as though it might crash right through our palladium window. However, by bedtime the rain had calmed, and the winds had somewhat diminished.
As I ventured out to run errands on Tuesday morning, only gray clouds and a few showers remained. As I drove, I saw the debris Lee left behind as it began to move on to the east. Granted, there was no comparison to the damage left behind from the tornadoes Alabama experienced back in April, but there were some downed trees and fallen limbs. Leaves and small branches were scattered across the streets. And flooding was an issue in many surrounding cities and towns.
By Wednesday morning, a few leaves were still strewn across my yard, and I saw a branch or two on the streets. But mostly, it was a beautiful morning! An unfamiliar crispness in the air and sunny skies made up the weather. And that's when it dawned on me...
Storms enter our lives, usually quickly and unexpectedly, changing our plans:
the death of a loved one
an unexpected diagnosis
the admission of an affair by a spouse
hospitalization of a loved one due to drug use
unexpected termination from your job
With little or no warning, we find ourselves in survival mode. We watch as the storm crashes in on us and hope it doesn't leave damage beyond repair. We're scared, but there's little we can do until the storm settles.
When the initial brunt of the storm is over, we look around to survey the damage. And while the damage may be plenty, we find that we're still standing. We're still surviving. We're still alive! And so it's time to start the process of sifting through the damage and ridding ourselves of the debris:
Before long we find ourselves amidst a "Wednesday morning"...the day the sun shines, and signs of the storm are minimal. We remember the storm, but the damage and debris are mostly gone. Signs of a new day, a time of rejoicing, are clear. We can finally enjoy a fresh start, and we are a little more aware of how to make it through the next storm.