We are sitting on our sunporch, watching a series of storms come through- some of them severe- lots of lightning and the wonderful deep rumble of thunder. We love to storm watch from this vantage point- it feels like we are in a big tree house, ensconced in blowing trees, but safe and sound. We have some great conversations during evenings like this, the dogs sprawled at our feet, and tonight was no different.
This particular evening, our conversation keeps turning to gratitude. Just twenty feet from our front door, the burned out hull of the apartment complex, less than two days old, sits, being baptized by the pounding rain. That could have been our house, too. Before this recent streak of rain and before the Memorial Day fire, we’d had a dry spell. If that dry spell had continued, if our usual wind had been blowing, we would be homeless tonight. I can’t just slough that off, I can’t just shrug, laugh, and say, “well, a miss is as good as a mile!” My mom used to say that all the time, and I do get that we are safe and worrying/ ruminating does no good…but to me, this experience needs to be honored. We need to learn from it, adjust our sails in how we protect our home, our animals, and our assets. We also need to truly feel real gratitude for what didn’t happen, and what did.
And so this night, I hold my loved ones close to me, both two and four-legged. I raise a prayer of gratitude that the home we have invested so much love, blood, sweat, and tears into is still standing- smelling of charred wood, and covered in ash….but still standing. We are hoping that the rains tonight will wash away the ash and begin to heal our hearts from the fear and sadness of Memorial Day. And we send love and healing light to the people who did lose everything to the ravages of the fire. I vow never to take my loved ones for granted, or my home. They mean the world to me, and times like this bring my true desires to the surface. Worrying about the day-to-day minutiae seems so shallow when people around me have lost so much.
My lesson? Invest in what is real and lasting. Invest in people, in relationships, in love. Everything else is temporal. Investing in the long-term is always sound advice, and love is eternal. I can’t think of anything more long-term than that.