Today was hard.

I don’t know why today was hard.

At some point I found myself outside looking up at the big open sky. I became overwhelmed with a sadness that I’ve never felt before. It was a sadness of what used to be and what will never be. A sadness of lost dreams and muddled nightmares.

A storm was approaching and I stayed outside and watched the winds racing towards me. The trees bowed gracefully to the storm front, their leaves flipping and dancing and waving. It almost felt like it was swirling around me, like I was the center of that storm. I felt the thunder in my stomach and the ground seemed to shake and shudder underneath me. It felt powerful and I found myself wishing I could be stronger for my son. Wishing that I could be a force to be reckoned with. I felt so weak and taken advantage of. I felt sorry for myself, and I began to cry right as the rain began to fall from the gray clouds.

My marriage had been a lot like a very long, very bad storm. Maybe it was more like a hundred tiny hurricanes that stretched over different days, weeks, months. It was peppered will small, brief moments that were calm and happy. But they were few and far between, and very false. Or maybe my marriage was more like a tornado that built up speed as it hopped and spun and tore through my sanity and my sense of what was normal. Or maybe it was simply a downpour, where I had no opportunity to catch my breath or to check my direction and continued to drown without anyone noticing.

I looked up from my wallowing and saw a lone bird in the sky. It was a large black bird and very high up. Its wings were outstretched, strong and unwavering against the winds. I realized he was soaring with the storm, not against it. The winds carried him up and he went up. They carried him down and he went down. Sideways, diagonal, up and down. I watched him across the wide swath of sky in my front yard. It was mesmerizing. He didn’t fight the storm. He didn’t madly flap his wings against it and try to go in the opposite direction. I thought about the metaphor against my own situation. But then as I watched, there were many birds in the sky… some darted, some soared, some even hopped from tree to tree without getting into the windy skies. One bird was madly flapping, low, high and then sideways, trying to go against the wind. I guess we all deal with our storms differently. Some of us soar, some of us hop, others dart, and many of us fight it with everything we’ve got.

I can’t say how I am going to handle the coming months, but I suspect that there will be a storm. I would like to think that I will soar high above the tree tops and be graceful… but will likely be the one madly flapping my wings in the opposite direction of the winds and rain.

I continued to watch the different birds, amazed by their agility and individuality. Suddenly a piece of trash, a plastic grocery bag, flew by me, engorged by the wind and awkwardly bumbling along with the current, low to the ground and dirty. I laughed through the tears. Even my husband has a metaphor here. Trash flies too.