(5 minute read)
Calm breezes with clucking chickens poking around the fresh cut grassy pastures can swiftly move into dark skies and winds so strong they lift the birds off their feet. It is true what they say about incoming wet weather, it is almost exactly two minutes from the first whipping winds that a heavy storm will move in. A man up in Connecticut at my sons baseball game told me these wise words. I think of it every time the weather makes such an abrupt shift. I learned it the hard way. I did not see the rain coming. He warned the crowd behind the dugout and took off for his car. I looked up at the darkened sky and felt the rush of wind blow. No rain. So I stayed in my seat on the bleachers. Two minutes later I was drenched in a sudden downpour. Completely soaked and schooled by the wise dry man, we ran to my car until the storm passed. A warm sunny afternoon can flip itself into a dark deluge without our even expecting it. I feel like life can take this same dramatic course throwing us off balance and delivering us harsh weather conditions we had not anticipated. In some instances it can be the perfect storm, all things happening at once.
I did not write my blog last week. My intentions were to write about the property in the country we were preparing to say farewell to, but the closing of the sale became stressful and soured the sentiment so I will save that writing for another day. Then I thought I’d write about Mother’s Day, but my exhaustion and highly emotional state got in the way of my gratitude. I considered more goat antics would be easy enough to blog about. But the way writing works for me is that I cannot mask what is truly on my heart. When I am upset, I am upset. Last week I was that person on the bleachers caught in a heavy downpour without an umbrella. At the peak of the storm this is what I wrote:
I am dehydrated. Drink more water? How about stop crying so much. What happened? I got frustrated, very frustrated. When I am angry and frustrated I cry. The tears do not fall in the beginning. At first, I am in problem solving mode. I look at the present situation and consider my options. I use logic and experience to guide me. As I stumble, I shake it off and try something else. I look online and consult others. Still not at the breaking down stage, I feel myself growing perplexed. My brows furrow. My back is hunched and shoulders tense up. I let out big huffs and puffs of air. I swear. I maybe even laugh a crazy “Are you kidding me?” cackle. Then I rinse and repeat. I start over.
This is where I go wrong. I should walk away at this point. I should sit with the chickens in the shade and watch their silliness. I should hold the baby goats in my lap. I should go to the barn and brush Kip. There are pod casts, and TikToks that could distract me from my troubling situation. Do what the experts advise: exercise, deep breathing, talk to someone, or write. Whatever you do, take a break from the problem that is frustrating you. It is building up into a raging tsunami. Step away.
Sometimes I do those smart things when aggravation begins to take hold of me. Other times my fierce determination to figure it out plants me directly in the path of the gale force winds of frustration.
Just as my finger struck the keyboard on that last period something happened. My phone dinged. A new message. I read it and let out a scream of relief. The problem that had driven me to such despair had been resolved. Just like that. Now my tears were of disbelief and relief. The sun was peaking out from behind the dissipating clouds.
As a mother, I have counseled my children time and again with the phrase, “This too shall pass.” Our experience teaches this throughout life. Hard times come and go. Problems arise, sometimes all at once from different directions. “There is a way through,” I also assure them. Perhaps it was no coincidence that the peak of this last passing squall came right before Mother’s Day. After all, it is my mom who would rub my back calmly, speaking soothing encouraging words, when I was young and frustrated. Her same gestures of love and support come through my motherly words to my own children. “You will get through this.” Not every day on the farm can be a sunny breezy chickens happily mingling with the goats kind of day.