Gosh darn it, I love a good storm. The first thing I want to do is find my rain gear, grab my camera, and head straight for the beach. There’s something so incredibly invigorating about the power of the wind, sideways rain, and pounding waves.
While photographing storms will be a life-long love, I also like to pause and just stand still in it for a while. I close my eyes, tip my head back and welcome it in with every one of my senses. From the sting on my cheeks from the sideways rain, to the force of the wind that makes me work hard to keep my equilibrium – every part of me feels wonderfully awake and alive.
If I'm lucky, and I hang in there long enough, I get to witness one of the most dramatic scenes unfold in Mother Nature’s breathtaking performance. It’s the moment when the sun breaks through and the rainbow takes centre stage. “WOW!”, I think to myself, “I get a front row seat to this show!”
As I stood at the water’s edge feeling energized and grateful to be part of this particular storm, it occurred to me how differently I have responded to the storms in my life. While rain gear could indeed come in handy when things go sideways, just about the last thing I’m thinking about is grabbing my camera to capture an image of the muck I’m in at that moment. And I definitely don’t tip my head back to welcome it in with every one of my senses. Sure, I close my eyes, but that’s usually a sign that I have no idea what else to do, and rather than standing out in the middle of it I’m thinking about running for cover.
The truth is, though, most of the significant growth opportunities I’ve been given have followed big life storms. It’s the tough stuff that’s forced me to work hard and find my equilibrium. It’s the things that go sideways that tend to shape my character, strengthen me, and teach me how to be resilient. Valuable insights and breakthroughs follow the storms, not when things are smooth sailing.
These days I have a different relationship with life storms. I won't be looking for them necessarily, but instead of using my energies to fight the storms, this new relationship allows me to find ways to welcome, and even celebrate, what I’ll learn from them and appreciate how they will shape me. If I'm open, I can find some good in just about any thing, any person, or any situation.
I like who I become on the other side of life’s storms...when the wind and water calm, and the sun finally breaks through again. It always does.
This too shall pass.