The mighty storm rides in. Rain falls in sheets. Lightening flashes like fireworks. Thunder echos like a big drum. It is magnificent to behold. But not if you are sleeping in a tent.
Everything is a scramble. You and your friends rush to seal the tent. Open flaps that were giving the tent a much needed airing out are now a liability. Zzzzzt – zippers close. Each second delay means yet another shirt will need drying in the morning.
Once the tent is closed, it needs reinforcement. The wind is strong, and soggy earth doesn’t hold tent pegs too well. With the help of your friends, you place heavy stones to anchor the perimeter.
They say you are supposed to place the tent on higher ground. But sometimes there is no higher ground. So you rush to place all of your possessions on the highest parts of the uneven earth beneath the tent floor. And then nothing more can be done but wait.
And wait you do. The waters rise, snaking their way to the low spots and pooling in the edges of the tent. Rain strikes the tent sideways, urged on by the howling wind. Some of it finds its way inside. You worry and fret and pray with all your heart. You feel powerless in the face of the mighty storm.
Worry and anxiety finally succumb to the weariness of the day’s work. Sleep rushes in like the storm raging outside.
The morning comes gently. Birds sing songs of joy. The light breeze dances through the trees. Sunlight streams with hope.
Your friends are already up, and they have fire going. On top of it, a pot of water boils for tea. Breakfast is ready.
Over the warm meal you recount the night. Exaggerations abound. Laughter fills the air as your friend describes the look on your face as you scrambled to close the tent. He wishes he had his camera to memoralize the event. You retort that his camera would be underwater if it weren’t for you. More laughter.
Following breakfast comes work. Everyone joins together. You string everything you have out on rocks, trees, and higher patches of earth. The sun will make quick work of the dampness. The tent flaps open wide. It will need airing out again.
Life moves on. The storm is nothing more than a story.
Your life will have its share of storms. Death will bring you sadness, events will challenge your thinking, and problems will test your strength. In those times, remember three things:
You are not alone. It may feel that way sometimes, but you will always have friends and family. They will be there for you.
Storms make the best stories. We don’t recount the days where the sun shone and nothing happened. We remember the difficulty and the challenge. We remember how alive we felt. If you are going to have an adventure, you’re going to get wet.
The sun will come out. No matter how distant it may appear to be, hope will come again. May it shine on you like the morning sunlight.
Story of the storm. I made this photo in Torit, Sudan.