Lessons From a Storm, or Thoughts on Peace

The wind is howling outside. An hour ago, the cat was howling inside. Fireworks are not a problem, but incessant wind battering the house, blowing off tiles and stripping branches from bushes – apparently she finds that a little too much to handle. I took her in my lap, gave her cuddles. It took a while, but eventually the nervous lip-licking and giant eyes stopped. She’s now curled up in the corner, pretending to be asleep. And the wind is still howling outside.

This is supposed to be the season of peace and goodwill. Or maybe it’s just the season of wishing for peace and goodwill. But sometimes, we’re like the cat – nervous and howling because of the battering wind. Sometimes, we need somebody to take us aside, and give us attention, and let us be known.

I think I have spent many years striving after the appearance of peace at this time of year – trying to make the wind go away, as it were, instead of calming the cat down. Trying to make everything just right, in the hope that somehow, peace and goodwill will flow from that. It’s the wrong way around.

I can have peace in the midst of turmoil. I need to have peace in the midst of turmoil.

So this year, I’m not going to be trying to control the wind. I’m not going to pretend there is peace where there is not, but I am going to acknowledge that the lack of peace out there doesn’t have to diminish the peace in here.


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