After the Storm
The fields flooded near our house, where we like to go for brisk morning jogs or after dinner walks. Where you can see Mt. Fuji on a clear day.
But today it is all golden sunshine and metal-tipped waves in the vast ponds that have settled in like a second summer where crops used to be.
I have no idea how devastating the waters are to the farmers, in this late Autumn season. I can’t help myself from marveling at the beauty.
Chad tells me that this isn’t the second typhoon of the season, just the second time they’ve cancelled school/work about it. In fact, there have been more than a dozen this year. Angry skies with lots to say.
Newspapers report 17 dead and over twice as many missing. For us it was much more benign–a day off of work, strong winds, heavy rain. Eating and reading and cooking and talking. We did yoga and went for post-storm runs.
The strangest part was the middle, its eye, which was sunny and clear and calm as anything. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was all over, never suspecting the looming clouds and violent gusts ready to return, full-force, before tapering off again. A corner, a tear escaping, then eyes shut, eyes open, sparkling and renewed.
I was thinking today that it is the same with anxiety and depression. With any sort of mental health struggle; with any form of self-improvement. The desire to be better, to be good, and healthy, is so strong that we confuse those first initial forays into stability and sunshine with the finish line–we think the storm is over, failing to anticipate the inevitable relapse, the backslide. Too naive, or eager, to see that this is just a glimpse of the clear skies to come, that we still have storms to weather.
I wonder how many people have died, not just in this storm, because they mistook the eye for the end.
I wonder how many people have suffered or suicided because that first taste of mental clarity was literally too good to be true, and the inevitable second (and third, and fourth…) wave of sorrow and struggle blindsided them.
How much more horrific, when you think it’s all over, and then the sky opens up and your world is destroyed.
For my part, I’ve decided to take The Long View. I’m prepared to weather the waves of my own tempestuous temperament.
And I’m grateful that those are not my fields.