Apparently today is a beautiful day in Seattle. Its all over my friends’ Facebook pages. I do miss Seattle days like today…the views of the cityscape, its surrounding lakes, and Mt. Rainier are probably spectacular. There is no place more beautiful than Seattle when its wearing its sunny clothes. But in my time living in that area, I came to realize that that beauty comes at a great cost…rain, gray and cold. I remember staring out of my living room window, day in and day out, from, hmmm, October to July, wondering when it was going to stop. I also remember longing for more violent storms. I figured that if it was gonna rain, it may as well be fun to watch. But those thunderstorms were few and far between. I also longed to see the massive evergreens outside my windows move and shake, in violent winds. But, the trees didn’t sway like I had wanted…more often than not they were still.
Being a Southern Californian, I hadn’t realized how much I missed wind. There’s a lot of it here. To most, its a complete nuisance, sending people running to their allergists for relief. However, to me, during weeks when the damp cold of the Pacific Northwest really got to me, I just wanted to see movement. On the rare occasion that the wind really blew, that turbulence made the world outside my living room window seem alive.
On my walk today, I was realizing how thankful I am for the wind. I was thankful for how it made the world around me appear vital and beautiful. I was thinking, too, about how turbulence, dare I say, struggle, makes life seem more vital and beautiful. Can you even imagine a life without struggle? An existence devoid of redemption, forgiveness, and healing? So many people live their lives in such a way to avoid turbulence, eliminating those hurdles that stand in the way of personal comfort. But its struggle that leads to growth, learning, understanding, and joy.
Life’s turbulence is inevitable. God, that struggle would make me uncomfortable, and move me. May turbulence motivate me, not floor me. Cultivate a vitality and strength that only comes from being present in the most violent of winds.