I woke up to the sound of thunder nearby. I went outside and sat with the storm as it passed over during the next few hours.
I had been struggling with wanting to write the past couple weeks and the topics that were on my heart were not real for me and they weren’t my own lived experience. I knew that others have more to say about them and they need to be heard. Listen to and read their story and it will be much more meaningful and useful for you.
As I sat and witnessed the storm, thoughts, ideas and words flowed through me faster than I could jot them down to develop more fully later. I will share as many as I can with you today and then expand on them in the coming weeks.
As I welcomed the storm into my morning, I noticed the flow of the storm and the movement of the rain and wind. I opened an app on my phone and saw the track of the storm on the weather radar. It was big and in places it was very intense and it was taking up a lot of space.
As I witnessed the passage of the storm, I did not try to control it, change it, influence it or will it away in any way. I just sat with it in the present moment and sat with what was. I made a choice to just witness the weather. This storm was not doing anything to me personally, it was just being and so was I. I was sitting with it, staying with it and experiencing it in the fullest and richest way I possibly could.
I imagined other people who were being affected by the storm. Some people were probably driving to work. There were likely traffic accidents affecting some people. Some probably had plans to spend the day outdoors. The storm wasn’t doing anything to any of these people personally, it was just being and passing by.
I witnessed nature in its strength and power. I felt the ground beneath my feet. I felt the rain on my face and arms. I felt the cold blowing wind as it sent chills through my body. I saw the flashes of lightning and heard the roar of thunder. I could feel the thunder reverberating through my body. I saw and heard the dancing of the trees and bushes moving in the wind. I saw the rain dance as it changed intensity and direction. I said this out loud, “I see, I hear, I feel.” There was a richness and a depth of experience in this moment, in the now.
I considered moving inside. Passing through the door and into the house where I would be dry and warm and it would be quiet. I realized I had a choice between inside and outside; between feeling and not feeling; between presence and absence. That door was a passageway to another realm and I had choice. Was there protection and safety through that door or just comfort and convenience? Should I stay or should I go?
I pondered this duality for a few moments and considered the inherent conflict between the two opposite poles, like hot and cold or light and dark. I realized that at this very moment other storms were flooding Tennessee and that despite this current storm there was drought in Minnesota. I considered how polarized our Country and its people have become. People are all in different places on the continuum of their individual lived experiences. Some people identify with their feelings, I am cold as opposed to I feel cold. Feelings are feelings. They are temporary and we can change them. All we have to do is let go of them.
Then, I considered that duality can lead us to singularity, a sweet spot somewhere in between the ends of the continuum. That spot may be different for each one of us at any given moment. That is the place where it is just right, the place of neither not enough nor too much, the intersection where there is comfort, peace, happiness, harmony and coexistence.
I realized that I felt safe in the presence of this storm. I even said that out loud, “I feel safe”. I trusted that it would not and in this moment could not hurt me. My little dog felt danger and perhaps fear from the loud thunder and she panted and shook. She felt safe enough that she did not bark and growl, or run and hide, or freeze. She stayed close and attached to her human. As mammals do, she responded to the threat but didn’t attach any meaning to it and just shook it off and moved on.
I saw a red bird sitting in a bush ten feet away. I saw a squirrel bounding down the path away from me. A hummingbird flew to within two feet of my face and then darted away. I realized that these animals were cautious of me as a potential threat to their safety even though I was no real danger to them and intended them no harm. They moved closer as I sat still and whistled but then they ran or flew away with my slightest movement.
This sense of trust and safety opened me to this next realization. As I sat in the intersection of the elements: earth, wind, fire, water and spirit, I felt as if I combined my sense of being and self with this manifestation of nature. I felt union and connection. I realized that I was sharing space with the storm. The storm didn’t get smaller and take up less space, it allowed me to share space and time with it. I realized that the storm was sharing its power with me and the plants and other beings and creatures around me. It wasn’t giving up its power, it was sharing it with us all.
I felt a sense of aliveness, energy, connectivity, and oneness. I felt simultaneously both united and the solitude of being alone. I was surrounded by life; plants, trees, insects, birds, squirrels, and all the signs of other humans nearby.
As I continued to sit in the storm, it continued to be….
My mind started to wander and I began to argue with myself… I should be DOING something, the day is passing me by versus I’m not done yet, I haven’t got it all yet, It’s still happening, Stay in the experience of it, Sit with it while it is here, it will be gone soon enough.
I felt a sense of intimacy with the storm. I had chosen to move towards it and spend time with it and in its presence. It was choosing to gradually move away and after a while it passed completely. Its passing brought a sense of stillness, quiet and of calm peace.
I had some thoughts about world religions which I won’t go into here right now. One scripture came up for me in this moment of stillness and it was “Be still and know that I am God.” I repeated this verse over and over slowly several times placing emphasis on each word in turn.
We are all in this together. No one is truly alone. We are all connected in this world. Each of us is whole, complete and enough in ourselves. But together there is a kind of synergy that can make all things possible. I long to see this happen for the betterment of all mankind.
There were a few other thoughts as I pulled all of this together but they are too personal to share right now and they require additional reflection and more clarity. As I sit here and prepare to post this, another storm is passing through. I feel as if it is calling me to come and sit in its presence for a while.