We are the storm


The thunderstorm today was wild and completely wonderful. The sunset came in a thousand colours afterwards.

Before the storm, I worked with a student. We laughed and made plans for her future; it felt like all these paths were dancing in front of her and we were playing, moulding her options into shapes, because sometimes it feels that way, that the future is something you can build with your hands. That’s true, and… it isn’t.

Sometimes the future comes at you and says, “Here, catch this.” Sometimes the future is something you never planned, and suddenly you’re sitting inside it going, “What just happened?” And then you have a new path to walk—it has trees you didn’t expect to see and a prickly underbrush, and different earth under your feet, and around the corner are caves and cliffs and maybe bears.

I don’t know what I’m saying exactly other than this: I sat with someone extraordinary later, after the storm, and told her she was loved.

I sat and talked about points of light and how love can feel like that, lanterns floating through the dark, surrounding you as you travel. I talked about mountains and how sometimes the only way to climb one is to not look at the mountain. I talked about small, good things. About the feel of your hands around a cup of tea and toweling your face after a shower. I—we— talked about love and sorrow and emptiness and music and painting and writing. We talked about holding on.

I could have talked about the storm, but I forgot. I forgot to talk about how the wind came up like witches were taking off on all their brooms and the water slammed into the windows sideways and how the sky turned electric and the garden blurred. And how the dog leaped up as I opened the back door and she came hurtling in, her whole body a thank you. How everything outside felt like it was shouting, “Here I am! Wild, uncontainable, impossible, indescribable. Here I am, all my parts and pieces, look at me, I’m whole, I’m everywhere, I am glorious and startling and alive. Here! Here! HERE.”

Here we are. There was a storm. Wasn’t it extraordinary?

Here we are—we are the storm, and all the colours afterwards.

Here we are. Here you are. You are loved, loved, loved.


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