Monday, February 8, 2016

Dancing in the rain

Parallel parking at Napa library one morning, the bumper sticker on the beat-up 1980's Chevy sedan in front of me caught my eye.  It was a day when I wondered if my sanity had been lost when I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. After the typical battles of eating breakfast (no, I'm not whipping up waffles and bacon today - enjoy your oatmeal), getting dressed (that underwear goes on your bum, not the rocking horse's...), and brushing teeth (honey, please don't use your toothbrush to clean the countertop) we were running behind on our errands, but the phrase emblazoned on the bumper made me stop for a moment and smile.

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, it's about how to dance in the rain."

We had been living in a metaphorical torrential downpour for months. We'd recently bought a house in need of much fixing, survived the stress of moving with two little ones constantly underfoot, burned the midnight oil with work projects, and - overall - had simply been overwhelmed by life. It was one of those periods where you start to expect things to always go wrong because nothing ever seems to be going right.

It may be silly to say a quote on a muddy, dented bumper was the impetus of a fresh start, but it's true. It spoke to my heart. It's almost as if God placed it there for me to see.

I sat there for a moment and took a deep breath. Despite two tireless toddlers bouncing out of their car seats behind me, there was a moment of quiet within. And it was in that moment of quiet that I felt the start of a new beginning. A clearing of the mind, a recognition of blessings, and the emergence of a less stressed, more glass-half-full person.

Perhaps it was the word "dance" that really spoke to me, because as soon as we got home I blasted techno music and the kids and I shook our booties like it was going out of style. With arms flying and tapping feet christening the bare floors of our new home, the kids and I spun and tumbled and laughed. As I lay, heart pounding, on the floor - two little bodies using me as their jungle-gym - I realized that I had forgotten how good it felt to just let go and feel alive.

A rainbow breaks through the clouds close to our new home.

This year I've gotten pretty familiar with storms, and that's not only because we're in the middle of El Nino here in the Napa Valley. I've learned that life - especially with kids - is a storm. It will always be a storm. Sometimes it may be drizzling with a beautiful rainbow on the horizon, sometimes it will be pouring, and sometimes - like our 2015 - you'll need a raft and life-jacket to stay afloat. But even if the world is raging around you, you can find joy within. You just have to awaken your spirit - and dance - to find it.

Cheers to a great 2016. May you always find time to dance.


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