Have you ever tried to stop the wind? It is a ferocious force. We have windmills to capture it, sailboats to utilize it and chimes to ride its wave. But wind comes and goes depending on factors beyond our immediate control.
As I recently stood in the grass of a Central Swedish village, the trees wiggled to the Earth’s windy rhythm. It tousled my hair, pressed against my ears and threatened to knock me down with its power. I grinned wickedly at my own helplessness. It was indeed a metaphorical moment when we have no choice but to endure Nature’s will. We can monitor the weather report, witness animal behavior reflecting pending storms and stock up to wait out the latest gale. We can choose not to sail and take down our chimes until Nature’s rage has calmed. Yes, this we can do.
But sometimes natural forces take us by surprise even when we think we are prepared. We carefully build our barriers, raise our walls, place plywood against windows and secure patio furniture. And yet life’s storms rise up unexpectedly. And in times like these, the best laid plans go astray.
In February 2017 I spoke with several people affected by the devastating earthquake that had rocked Kathmandu, Nepal, to its core the year prior. In the face of such tragedy, people from all walks of life came together. Nature’s wrath conjoined them all.
Adversity can do that. In times of great trouble, we pare ourselves down to the very essentials. It affords us an opportunity to look at what is truly important.
In all my years, the only answers remains: love.
Love what is. Accept what is. Accept what is not. Move forward. Even when the wind blasts through our world.
Sometimes the best we can do is to stand still, doing nothing and let Nature take its course. Wind can cool us. It can rattle us. But, as wind-formed trees prove, it always shapes us into who we are.
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