Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All storms pass

We have so many thunderstorms in my town that sometimes I feel like I'm living in a horror movie. The other night I was awakened to a peal of thunder that sounded like a cannon. Nervously, I rolled over. Any moment I expected the enormous Sweet gum tree in my neighbor's yard to come crashing down on my house. I live on the second floor, so if it ever comes down, I'm a goner.

Luckily, it didn't.

The storm raged for another half hour, whille I restlessly tossed and turned.

Then something amazing happened. Well, not quite amazing, but pretty cool. As the storm was passing, rumbling in the distance, I heard a bird call. It was a clear, sharp note in the early morning, playing against the rolling thunder in the background.

My wife later joked, "The bird was saying, 'Is everyone all right?'"

I like that. For some reason I find it comforting.

For me the storm was an apt metaphor for the turbulence of our lives. We are stricken with storms all time--emotional, pyschological tempests where the very foundations of our lives seem to be ripped from their moorings. We wonder if we can somehow survive this suffering, as everything we have come to know and rely upon is uprooted before our eyes.

But if Buddhism teaches us one thing, it's that everything is impermanent. All storms pass. Just like the thunder that night.

No matter what the circumstances are, they will inevitably change.

Maybe we won't all be greeted by the pleasant notes of a bird song or its equivalent, but all storms pass. They must.

Photo borrowed from Creative Commons flickr user: -Qualsiasi.

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