After a lovely weekend, it was time to make the three-hour drive back home. I know this drive well. I take the same familiar route almost every weekend.
I headed out west on a beautiful day. Puffy, white clouds floated through the blue sky. There was a hint of rain on the horizon ahead.
Brand new green grass waved in the rolling fields. Spring flowers were scattered everywhere -- in the fields, in the trees. It was a gorgeous spring day and a delightful drive.
I rounded a turn, dipped down into a hill, and climbed upward. Upon reaching the hill's crest, the clouds in the distance suddenly seemed uncomfortably dark, close, and foreboding.
The hint of rain showers gave way to a storm. The storm was heading my way, and I was heading its way. We would soon meet on the road.
The closer I got, the darker the clouds seemed. Bold strikes of lightning ripped through the sky. Thunder rattled my mirrors. Wind tore through the trees.
I considered taking a detour. But even if I did, I would still be stuck driving in the storm.
I considered turning around. But even if I did, the storm would have followed me.
I considered stopping. But even if I did, I would be stuck in the storm and making no progress.
So I steadily traveled on the trusted route that I knew would take me home. First, there were only a few sprinkles. But then as quick as a switch, an unforgiving torrent blasted the road.
I was nervous while driving through the storm. I was scared of the storm itself. Nature is a force best left unchallenged. I was scared of the other drivers around me. Traffic is a hazard best left untrusted.
I kept driving. The rain would start to ease, but immediately pour down again. I wondered how long this storm would last.
But slowly the lightning became less frequent, the downpour eased to harmless sprinkles, and the wind became gentle once again. The clouds brightened and thinned to reveal the beautiful blue sky hidden behind them. It had been there all along. Hidden, but there.
And once again, brand new green grass waved in the rolling fields. Spring flowers were scattered everywhere -- in the fields, in the trees. It was a gorgeous spring day and a delightful drive, again.
I realized my experience driving through the storm is very similar to weathering life's storms. There is always the instinct to turn away from the trusted road when I find myself in undesirable situations. But I know the way to go.
When weathering a storm, I must keep doing the next right thing: "And this too shall pass."
Sober since April 6, 2006