The clouds rolled in and the birds began to whisper. She knew exactly what was brewing. The sky was about to unleash its spring storm with a fury that couldn’t be tamed. Olive opened her windows to let the cool breeze blanket her shoulders as a reprieve from the day’s heat and then made her way to the front porch. Fear no longer chilled her bones when thunder crashed through the sky because she knew what waited after the rains soaked the ground.
Sitting on the porch, events of the past six months trailed on the wind of her thoughts. Nothing could have prepared her for life’s scenarios. But, she rested in the fact that life doesn’t prepare anyone for what it brings. She recalled an old friend once saying, “You never know what could happen in six months. Your life could be completely different.” In that moment, as the wind whipped through her hair with gentle aggression, those words became more true than ever before.
From deaths, heartbreak, success, failure, joy and tears, Olive carried her friends and let them pour their lives into her rain pails. She accepted it all. There was always room for more. She delighted when it was time to celebrate, challenged when the challenge was welcome, and cried when a friend mourned. She would drive through the storm with someone and make a rainbow when there wasn’t one in sight. It was easy for her to see how lives around her changed from day-to-day, but she often found it difficult to see hers. Today, however, she was going to sit on that porch and actually listen to the storm. She was going to look at the last six months of her life come hell or high water, and she was going to be one with it.
It was time for Olive to acknowledge the storminess of her heartbreak, the mystery of her faith, the fulfilling challenges of her work, the burden of the world around her, and the sheer joy of living. She saw herself as the eucalyptus tree in her backyard with brownish-green leaves - full of life and still beautiful but in need of the gentle rains that fell. The last six months were nothing less than perplexing and she had a lot to filter through. Her life looked a little different and she needed to learn how to accept the strange-yet striking-flowers that were blooming.
The rain began to subside and the thunder ceased. Olive knew what she had to do. She walked inside, grabbed her pail and a bottle of wine and hopped on her bike. She set her emotions aside for the time being until time granted her a moment to sift through life’s moments. A friend needed her.