Surfing the Storm

Everything is not always joy and light. Even if it is. Despite the rapturous reactions of people around me today, I am determined to be a curmudgeon and contrarian. Sometimes even the truth of blessings and amazing grace is not enough to penetrate the storm within.

So it is. In these times of raging seas and surging whitecaps of confusion, it is enough to hold on for dear life and wait for the storm to subside.

And as with cycles and storms, they can not last forever.

Gratitude in every moment

As I think of what I am grateful for in my own life, I am thinking of Victor Frankl and his observations about what people survived in concentration camps. My memory was that he discussed individuals who could just appreciate blue sky on a sunny day, or an unexpected flower growing amidst devastation.

But when I briefly looked at an online article, what I found reminded me that those with hope, with a vision to hope for, survived the most strongly emotionally.

This morning, with enough food to eat, a shelter over my head, clothes, a computer, Internet access, a car, people who love me and whom I love, hope for the surprises of this day — how could I not be grateful for the riches of this blessed life? Even if I forget again in the night.

For me, books and the possibility of sharing in the hopes and visions and strength of others are enormous supports and gifts. My own suffering is paltry, in truth, in line with the cycles of night and day and awakening without memory each new morning. Others have life and death, overwhelming issues of suffering that they magnificently survive and use for strength.

On this September morning, I am hugely grateful for courageous beings who have told us of their journey, their suffering, their hopes, and their courage to take the next step.