Sunday started out as a beautiful day. The temperature rose into the 50’s, there was a very light breeze, and it was a beautiful spring day. (Don’t forget, I live in North Dakota.) I started out by cleaning my chicken coop of the soiled straw. I shoveled it up, and made numerous trips to the garden to dump it. My husband started a bonfire to burn some old pallet boards. The chickens ran around the yard, pecking and scratching at the dirt, and eating all the seeds they could find.
After the coop was cleaned out, I put in fresh straw for the ladies, and they pecked and scratched at that too. I found my pair of loppers and started cutting and pruning the dead wood from my privet hedge, and cutting it down to a manageable 6 feet tall from the 9 or 10 it had grown to last fall. The dead wood went in the fire. I cut down my raspberry stalks and burned them up too. My husband grilled some elk sausage and elk steaks over the fire for us and our son. And it was good.
IT WAS GOOD.
Then, the wind started to pick up in the afternoon. The wind continued into the night, and we knew the storm was coming. The air felt shifted. It felt heavy. The next morning I went to work in the heavy, hard wind, and then the rain started. I wasn’t just any rain, but freezing rain. It stuck to the windows, and where it hit, it froze immediately. I could see the tiny grains of ice in the drops. And then it stopped. I put ice melt in front of the door. Within a couple hours it all melted. Then the next round started. This time it was graupel. ( http://www.fsavalanche.org/encyclopedia/graupel.htm) It coated the roads and the parking lot. The corn husks and dried up leaves whipped across the parking lot. When I went outside, the frozen pellets stung my face and then I realized the temperature had dropped quite a bit. The wind rattled the windows and shook the walls. All sorts of things flew by the window, and it was foreboding.
Once home, I sat and read for awhile. My husband, home from work an hour early because the interstates had closed at 3:30, was working in the garage putting the new tires on the golf cart. (Yes, we are optimists.) He came in and exclaimed that he couldn’t see our neighbor’s house behind us. I looked out the window, and sure enough, behind the chicken coop was a white sheet, hiding the next house about a block away. The snow continues into the night, reducing visibilities and making the roads very hard to travel. It was dangerous.
In just 28 hours my backyard turned from a happy spring day, into a blizzard. Luckily, it only dumped 4 inches of snow on us, far short of the earlier prediction of 12 to 18. For this I was grateful, but still, I had to wonder if Mother Nature was playing an April Fool’s trick on us. We went from the green grass starting to peak through the brown dead grass from last fall, to white snow. We went from bonfire to snow bank in a very short time. And it was discouraging.
Sometimes life is a lot like the weather. Everything is going great, then something changes and a blizzard shows up, right in the middle of your nice spring day. Things are going great, and then, in the blink of an eye, it all goes downhill. Its so easy to give up hope when we perceive that bad things are happening to us. Its easy to give in to depression and sadness, and think that things will never get back to normal. But in reality, they always seem to work out for the best as long as we expect it to.
And it will.
I know that this is a temporary set back for the weather turning to warm summer days. It will happen. It always does. And as much as I rolled my eyes about this storm, the snow brings nitrogen to the soil, and moisture, which the crops, and the flowers, and the grasses, and the vegetables all need in the spring. It may be uncomfortable for a short time, but in the long run, this makes things better. It was adventageous.
Many times in our lives, its the hard things that define who we are. Its the uncomfortable things that make us grow, and learn, and live. The next time you feel that you are in a downward spiral, stop fretting. Open your parachute and rest easy, knowing that it will make you stronger. Perhaps you will learn an important lesson that will benefit you in life. Perhaps you will meet someone who will become a best friend, or a significant other, or a beloved spouse. Perhaps you will gain life experiences that will help you write a book, start a business, or become a better person.
Life can only get you down if you let it. Because life is good.
Have you ever had an experience where you learned something good from a hurtful experience? I’d love to hear about it.