One night last week, a late-season thunderstorm woke me from my sleep. I’m one of those people who love thunder, thanks to my mom and dad. I woke to the sound with happy memories.
I grew up on the shores of Saginaw Bay in Michigan and we had an enclosed sun porch that looked out over the water. Sometimes when it stormed at night, my parents would wake me from my sleep and tuck me between them on the sofa to watch lightning dancing across the horizon and light up the white-capped waves. It was as good as 4th of July fireworks, only cozier, a private show just for the three of us. I loved it.
I remember falling asleep to the fragrance and sound of rain on nights like that. And to this day, nighttime rain feels like a loving lullaby.
But tonight, I’m also thinking how blessed I am that the concussions that roll through the sky are thunder, and nothing more, that I can hear them without fear, that they are not rockets or bombs. It’s only an accident of birth that puts me here, out of harm’s way. I am not here, in this place of peace, because I am special in some way. Any of us could as easily be cowering at the sounds of sirens, or at the violent quivering of the air as sitting here in peace and comfort reading email or surfing the Net.
None of us can say, in today’s uncertain world, that the peace we enjoy today will endure. But life has never been certain. None of us knows, when we wake in the morning, what our days will hold. That’s part of the wonder of it all.
The other day, a friend of mine posted on Faceboook that she turned on the news and was filled with dismay at all the turmoil in the world. “Nothing good is happening anywhere!” she said.
A couple people commented that they agreed. The world was in the proverbial hand basket heading straight to hell.
Then a wise voice chimed in. “Plenty of good things are happening in the world,” the writer said. “People are getting married, having babies, dancing, enjoying sunsets and walks on the beach. Take your dog for a walk. Then you will be one of the good things that’s happening in the world right now.”
“Amen,” I thought. We can’t stop wars or weather. But we can be one of the good things that’s happening in the world. We can walk our dogs, hug our kids, sing our songs, or revel in the fragrance and sound of rain. We can tip the world’s scales towards joy, and gratitude, and celebration. We can be the love that’s happening in the world right now.
And I kind of think that’s exactly what the world wants from us, and needs.
Let’s get out there and be world-tippers. It’s the least we can do, don’t you agree?