Maris Degener

Thoughts on a rainy day.

Maris Degener
Thoughts on a rainy day.

Rarely have I been wise enough to witness the calm before the storm.

It’s typically after that I stand in the wake of the destruction that’s left behind, the solemn calm that sweeps in after the winds have calmed. 

In order to appreciate, to be truly present to, the calm before the storm, you have to have an awareness that the storm is not yet here.

I’m not an optimist by design, I’m working to become one out of necessity. My pessimistic nature lends itself to deciding that the storm is already upon us, the struggle is already here. My fear is often that it is already too late, that what’s at hand is already too difficult, already out of my control. This lies, at least in part, in my lack of trust in my own abilities: yet another thing I must work to overcome if I wish to survive (and, perhaps, do more than just breathe).

And yet, there is danger in keeping your eyes on the storm over the horizon; something that is necessary if we wish to be present to the calm that precedes it. Will we be constantly asking ourselves, “Is this the calm? Or is this it?” never actually relishing the moment? Or will we exist in constant fear, not able to truly enjoy the calm when it is upon us? Or, perhaps worse yet, will we not be able to enjoy the calm, even if we are present throughout it, if we know the storm will furiously come down at any moment? 

While I’ll admit that the rain is beautiful, it is hard to exist in for long. Even the flowers, that depend upon it to bloom, could not grow if it weren’t for the late-spring’s despite. I feel like a particularly fragile blossom: one that can stand even less time in the rain. I can feel my petals becoming downtrodden, my roots uprising, my face tiring from being turned away from the sun for so long. 

It’s In those days where afternoon melts into night with no glimpse of the sun in-between that dampen me the most. Those reminders that the storm will not last forever are so necessary, even for the flowers who must trust each winter that they will blossom in spring. The earth has a natural ebb and flow to all of its existence; and all of it lingers on the trust of the next season’s arrival. 

In the midst of the storm, in the midst of the puddles and the mist and the fog, I have two choices:

The first, to do as my nature compels me, which is to simply wait for the calm that comes after. To spend my days waiting, anticipating, and furiously present to the non-presence of the spring I long for.

Or the second, which is to try and dance in the rain.