A storm was brewing and like so many of us, I didn’t see its timing. Had I known, I would have taken better cover not just for me, but for all of us. That’s the thing about storms. They go in as quick as they came but what is left behind is anything short of familiar. Nothing remains as it once did. When it rains, it drudges up what was once kept safe, private and what we believe is protected. The wind shifts the direction of our perception for what no longer looks familiar. The snow blankets what is hidden and while it is said it’s with the intent to create anew, sometimes the snow arrives when we’re already buried.
Summer turned into fall and before I winked, winter created a storm of change before the existing season even unveiled itself. There was no time to anticipate it just as there was no time to take cover or seek refuge despite what the change would bring. When any storm approaches us, we prepare and seek out a safe place to wait. We hope to make it out safely with refuge to recover the pieces left behind.
And like many storms, they rage without notice and we’re left to make the best of what we have. When we’re stripped of everything we once thought we needed, we’re left with the realization that we’re left with everything we ever really needed. For me, the storm rages and despite it’s unpredictable gusts of wind, hammering rain and what became reputable ice storms, I was left with the most incredible umbrella.
This umbrella was special. You see, it provided shelter and cover despite what attempted to leave me bare, drowning, cold and unraveled.
Beneath it lied three people who held it and the best part is, they didn’t even know they had been given the umbrella to do it. Yet, they held it up with a sense of salvation for what I believe was divinely orchestrated to protect me during the storm. Umbrellas are not very big. In fact, the coverage isn’t always the best and strong winds are likely to overturn it’s purpose.
But not my umbrella.
They held it over me with strength, purpose, love, acceptance, compassion and reassurance. They covered me in affirmation for all of the storms I waged for them. I would watch them.
My umbrella was wrapped in a tug at my knee at the stove when memories of dinner as a family silenced me.
My umbrella told me I was “pretty” as I buckled her into her car seat after a night of tears swelled my eyes.
My umbrella waited for his moment to rest his head on my shoulder as his brother and sister fell asleep as if he knew I yearned for human touch like I needed air.
It’s the laughter when I can’t find humor through the pain.
It’s the joy when I can’t remember what it felt like.
It’s the love that was lost.
It’s the acceptance from the faces that matter most.
My umbrella isn’t large in size but it’s abundant in love. When I look at them and they look at me, it’s as if no words need to be spoken. The storm can rage, wane and come back again but this is where I find my shelter and I must say, they’re better than okay.
In Love & Courage