Friday, August 12, 2016

The Gift within the Storm

More than anything, this past year has taught me to value time.  I am constantly asking myself, “What would I regret most if my time suddenly ran out? And how can I use my time to avoid having that regret?” The thing that I most value, and the thing that brings me the most peace, is writing.  But it’s so easy to get caught up in my daily routine and “to do” list and let time get away from me once again. Since I’m so task-oriented, I joined a writing workshop.  Having a weekly “assignment” and deadline helps me to focus, and the members of the group are a great source of encouragement and support.  A recent assignment was based on The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler,  a delightful book that personifies qualities as characters.  Here’s my personification of the emotion that has been my most recent companion.


Grief is Love’s shy twin.

You meet Love first, and she invites you to dance with her.

As you dance, you can see Grief waiting in the shadows,

but you think, “Not now, not me.”

Grief is patient; she waits quietly, almost out of sight.

She can wait a lifetime.

But when Love has had her dance and her day,

Grief will come to you.

She has waited long enough,

and now it is her time.

She has grown strong in her waiting,

she rages like a storm,

and she can destroy everything.

For a while, all you can do is huddle in her path,

praying that she will soon pass by.

Sometimes she is quiet and you might think she is gone,

but it is only the calm at the eye of the storm,

which soon begins again.

Still, nothing lasts forever, not even Grief.

You will survive, but you must find shelter;

your friends, your family, your faith

will be your safe place, the place where you wait

and grow strong, strong enough to stand in the

storm and tears that are Grief.

Finally the storm passes.

When you emerge from your safe place,

you see a different landscape, one that has been

scoured by the storm

one that has been washed clean

of all that is shallow or trivial.

Only the things that have strong foundations remain.

Grief has worn out her power,

but she and her twin, Love, will remain with you.

Both can be your friend. 

August 5, 2016

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