I often have blog posts that just sit in my head. Really, I have always been like this, long before I started blogging. Essays form in my brain. I don’t know if that happens to any of you, but for as long as I can remember, when some experience causes reflection or learning, an entire essay, well speech really, forms in my head. I even go through drafts and rewrites in my mind. Yes, I am a bit odd. I also “see” everything I say, like it’s a ticker through my brain and, when I read books (fiction in particular) I see it like a computer animated movie, as opposed to real life…although I’m actively trying to change that. I used to think everyone saw things as animated, but apparently I was wrong.
Back to the essays. Now that I do have a blog, I have a place to write them down. I don’t always. Some of my thoughts are too personal to share on the internet (yes, even I have sharing limits). And some experiences are too, what I would call, sacred for me to just put out there, which is a bit different than too personal. I had one of those experiences this weekend, and while I don’t want to go into detail, I do want to share some of my thoughts about it.
I thought a lot about life this weekend. You know, Life…with a capital “L”. The big picture. I think part of it was being by the ocean. Something about having grown up near the ocean and my absolute love of water makes any time I am near it a kind of ethereal experience. Yep, even when I’m just lying on the beach in a bathing suit. Another part consisted of my great conversations with Katie. And the final element was a run I took Sunday morning. Yes, I went running on Sunday, along the beach, and I feel good about it. In fact, it was while running (a time when epiphanies often occur) that the post began to form.
There are times in life when bad things happen. Hard things. Things I don’t understand. Things I don’t ever want to relive. Things that hurt me so deeply, I don’t know if I will ever feel whole again, if I will ever heal. And in those moments of pain, while in the depths of despair, the world does not make sense to me.
But then the rains stop, the winds calm, and the sun begins to make the world better again.
Not only better, but a funny thing has happened. The rain has prepared me for beautiful gardens. The wind has knocked down a few trees that needed to go. I wish it didn’t have to be so painful. I wish that the gardens could grow without the storms. But that’s just not the way it works. What became so clear to me, again, this weekend, is just how intimately God knows us. He knows when to allow the storms and when to calm them.
My trip to California was totally last minute. Emailing Katie out of the blue to see if I could stay with her was really random. The fact that she was in town was amazing. And all of these things needed to happen for me to have the experience I had. And, until the moment it happened, I don’t think I would have been ready for it. The storm that had been raging calmed, but it couldn’t have calmed any sooner because all of the rain and wind I needed wasn’t there until yesterday.
I just don’t know how I could go through life and not believe that there is more to it than what we see. And sometimes I forget, but then I stand at the edge of the ocean, after swimming through the crashing waves, stronger for the swim, and it all makes so much sense.