I must be upfront with you. This is a blog post riddled with metaphors. There are life occurences in which a writer can’t help but make a observation, put pen to paper, and pray it resonates in the soul of the reader.
It happened just this morning.
If you have a smart phone, you probably use your weather app to keep abreast of any alarming weather pattern that's predicted to hit your neck of the woods. With daughters who live in different parts of the country, not to mention my need to check the weather in cities where I might be traveling, I use a weather app almost daily. Sometimes it’s habit and often it’s mere curiosity.
I live in a snowy part of northern New Mexico and must drive through the canyon whenever I'm traveling to Santa Fe. It can be a risky drive during the winter months, as the sun finds it difficult to kiss the narrow road hidden by looming rose-colored mountains. As I sleepily gazed out the window this morning, I did a double take. It had snowed overnight and my weather app had not given me the slightest hint.
Hmm. That was odd.
Rather than be prepared for impending snow, where I could have had time to run to the grocery and even salt my walkway, I was left with the reality of a hazardous driveway and bare cupboard. It had become frigidly cold and I could barely stand even running to the mailbox. Not fair. How could the weatherman have failed to prepare me?
Or perhaps he did. I simply didn’t want to see it. Perhaps none of us do. This sneaky snowfall can teach us all a little something about matters of the heart.
Whether it’s surviving a breakup, warming by the fire with a new someone or doing all that’s required to keep a flame burning, there are always signs hidden along the way that point to progress or a lack thereof. However, one has to exhibit a willingness to actually search them out and take appropriate action. Ahem.
Just as with the unexpected snow that hampered my day, I could have looked online and double checked the forecast. I could have looked online at the radar to see if snow was actually heading my way. But I didn’t, as that took too much effort. It was much easier to check in with my dependable and familiar app and take it at its word. But my poor choices resulted in a surprise that literally chilled me to the bone.
In our personal lives, it happens more often than we care to admit. Whether you’re on the receiving end and still frostbitten from an icy storm of neglect or are guilty of refusing to see the looming tornado about to decimate everything in your life's path, there are always signs. Warnings and directions are issued, friends offer assistance, and everything sans a megaphone is used to scream out a warning, yet we often choose to turn a deaf ear.
“Perhaps,” we say to ourselves, “it’s just a false caution that’s not worth a follow up.” After all, counsel from friends, just like the weatherman, are capable of providing false information. But the result of one’s determination to protect their ego can be deadly. Rather than admit to failure in a life lesson, we end up finding ourselves in a storm so heart-wrenching and tumultuous that we could care less if we live or die. We simply want it to stop so we can reach higher ground.
Storm survival is not for the faint of heart.
My patio lounge chair cushions would agree. Exposed to the natural elements in my north-facing courtyard, they've been covered in snow for weeks, as the sun rarely brings enough warmth to warrant melting. I’ve noticed these teal cushions, clearly in my sight, on a daily basis. I knew full well that I should simply pull on my snow boots, untie the fabric fasteners, and take them to a more protective place. But until today, I found one excuse after another to avoid doing it. Perhaps I’m learning. I’d paid a great deal of money for my colorful accents and finally decided they deserved saving. I look forward to enjoying them year after year.
This isn’t my first rodeo.
The only way I’d learned to protect my cushions in view was by remembering my having to toss out the ones which were past saving from the year before. The threads wore thin, mold set in and they simply could not be repaired. I could have tried to scrub away the mildew and reupholster them in other fabric, but eventually, I knew from experience, the mold would return and I’d sigh in frustration come summer. This year, I made the conscious decision to do my research, compare one quality cushion to another, and take care of my new purchase which cost me dearly.
Perhaps there’s another lesson there…
Regardless if it’s preparing for a snowstorm or hurricane, or nourishing a friendship or romantic relationship, perhaps we should tune in a bit more and make sure to check the radar. It’s not as difficult as one thinks. Instead of having to quickly sandbag one's belongings or coming to the reality that splinters can’t be glued back together, let’s prepare ourselves for impending weather patterns.
You may find that for once in your life you actually enjoy crafting a plan of preparedness. The result can save the very fabric of your heart, not to mention lead to sunny days ahead.
Brightest of Blessings,