“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
  — St. Francis de Sales

The weather yesterday was simply not conducive to anything quiet or calm.  Each time the rain would abate and we would sigh with relief, another flash would light up the sky and another crash of thunder would rattle the windows and shake the walls.  Inner peace is hard to find in the midst of the storm, and there is nothing better to remind us of that truth than a day of thunderstorms.  Maybe that is what storms are for — the chance to sit in a dry house and let the wind swirl outside and the rain pelt against the windows while we are wrapped in the calm indoor air, undisturbed.

When yesterdays storms raged, I was safe and dry.  In spite of this, I felt rattled when the lightning and thunder arrived in the same instant and I knew that the wrath of the storm was right over my head.  One deafening clap of thunder was so powerful that I felt myself rise above my chair as I startled at its arrival.  My blood turned cold and chilled my spine as fear flowed through my veins, and then I felt the shame of being a grown woman and feeling afraid of the weather.

How often, on a sunny day, do we let the storms of life ruffle and rattle us so that we are governed by our fear of what might happen rather than simply standing in the moment and knowing that we can weather whatever life has to offer?

Today the morning felt different.  Clouds still hung overhead; but along the horizon, they looked like wisps of smoke rising from a dying fire.Image2

‘The storm has burned itself out,’ I thought, ‘ and now the sky is sending out smoke signals proclaiming that peace has returned to the world.’  I wondered what the smoke signal for peace really looked like, but then I decided that it really didn’t matter.  What mattered was that the message had been received.  There is peace at the end of every storm; and when we hold onto knowing that, we can stay calm — even when the winds blow.