I am genuinely fascinated by memory, by how something from the distant past comes to mind for no obvious reason – a special moment, a long-forgotten experience. Sometimes, when this happens, I wonder why the memory came and if it holds a new lesson for me.
Many years ago, my Mom was driving my brother and me home from a visit to my grandmother’s house. Suddenly, the car moved into a sheet of pouring rain. I heard the rain before I saw it hitting the hood of the car and then the windshield. But looking out the side window from the backseat, there was no rain and the window was totally dry. I was amazed and asked my Mom how that was possible. Her answer was simple, “The rain has to stop somewhere.” It was the perfect response to a four-year-old girl, and I realized that it wasn’t raining EVERYWHERE just because it was raining here.
In recent months, I have felt like I was driving into another kind of storm, a collective fear and anger that is wreaking havoc in many lives. And while fear and anger do not exist everywhere, they are more and more evident in our day-to-day lives. And they have to stop somewhere, so I choose to have them stop with me. I commit to being kinder, more compassionate, more caring. I commit to recognizing the light in all people, and focusing on the ways in which they are similar to me rather than on our differences. And in the rainstorms of life, I commit to focusing on love rather than fear, and to being deeply grateful to everyone who strives to be the best possible person she or he can be.
Photo Credit: Dave Burwell Photography