The Calm after the Storm

As I sit at home this Sunday morning (something I never do on Sunday mornings, but I have two sick little boys today), I am blown away by the beauty outside my office window.

The leaves are such a vibrant, spring green, weighed down and filled up by yesterday’s torrential rain.

The sky is a perfect, almost periwinkle blue, marred only by the birds zipping from tree to tree and diving to the wet grass to get the worms that come up for air after a storm.

That storm. We’ve lived in this home for over a year, and never have I seen so much water. And only blocks away, there were mounds of hail. Now I’ve ridden out hurricanes, so there was no fear or danger in this storm, but I couldn’t miss the bright purple flashes of lightning or the pounding of the thunder that shook and rattled our ancient windows.

And yet today – peace.

A leaf just fell from the tree and floated, danced and twirled down across my window.

The beauty of restoration is breathtaking.  After such fury and cacophony, the stillness and melody soothes my heart.

But the shocking thing to me (though I’ve seen it time after time in my life… it’s just one of those lessons I must keep relearning) is that the stillness and melody is not only more astounding due to the juxtaposition with the rage of the storm, it is because of the madness of the storm.

The trees have drunk deeply of the life-giving water, stretching their limbs and sighing. The leaves have been washed clean of the dust and dirt (and, let’s be honest, bird poop) of the preceding days and now flutter in the soft breeze freely, like a child frolicking haphazardly.

Who would have thought that such chaos not only could proceed such beauty, but must proceed it?

Beauty for ashes… joy for mourning…

And yes, if I’m honest, this is all one grand metaphor. Yes, I needed to see this today. Yes, I am now thinking of things as universal as the Boston bombing and as close to home as my own family. Yes, I need to remember that the storms of life not only allow us to better appreciate the beauty of peace, but sometimes they actually are essential stepping stones to that beauty.

Am I alone? I hope not… but I remind myself today that ultimately, it does not matter. When I do feel alone, discouraged, even hopeless, I can hope in the peace that follows the storm.

May you and yours find that peace today.

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