After The Storm
A cold and spiteful rain was falling, driven along by a raking wind that seemed bent on scouring the earth of everything in its path.
The storm had literally come out of nowhere flooding streets and taxing the flood control channels that all the experts had promised would be equal to rainfall of any amount.
From my vantage point, safe inside a warm Las Vegas coffee shop, I observed two tiny sparrows who, caught by the storm’s fury, were struggling to find shelter.
Their insubstantial bodies were pressed tightly against the glass of the ceiling-to-floor windows covering the front of the establishment, seeking the scant protection afforded by the roof’s minimalistic overhang.
Huddled together, their frightened eyes cast this way and that, beaks opening and closing to emit shrill chirping that I interpreted as being cries for help.
While safety was one thin panel of glass away, it was an environment so foreign to the tiny creatures that neither recognized it as such.
The truth is, I thought of intervening but realized that they wouldn’t identify me as being a savior even if I were able to get close enough to attempt a rescue.
In point of fact, I would represent a far greater threat than the very storm causing them such peril.
A sudden violent gust of wind tore one of the sparrows from its purchase on the ledge sending it rolling helplessly along the ground coming to lodge against the downspout of a rain gutter.
Another few inches and the sodden bird would have been caught by the current and washed out into the street.
Just then the wind lessened and with tremendous grit and determination the little bird began a long and torturous trek back toward the ledge.
My fellow patrons, engrossed as they were in pleasant conversation and the simple pleasure of being out of the storm’s reach, were completely unaware of the life and death struggle being waged just a few feet from their comfort.
With a final lunge the bird regained the ledge crowding in next to its companion, the two huddling even closer together than before.
And then, a single ray of sunshine pierced the gloom, the wind died, the rain lessened and just as quickly as the storm had arisen, it was gone.
That’s the way it is here in the desert.
The two birds looked at each other, shook the water from their feathers, spotted a few twigs and scattered leaves which they each grasped with their beaks and suddenly took flight.
Off to repair the damage to their nest, no doubt.
It got me to thinking.
Storms are a natural part of life.
Some are fierce.
Some, not so fierce.
Many people wake up one day and find themselves right in the middle of a hurricane with nowhere to run.
They just have to ride it out.
Most storms leave at least some damage in their wake, and I’m sure this one will be no different.
Repairing that damage is a natural part of what happens after the storm.
Some people have more damage to repair than others, and sometimes the damage is so severe that it simply cannot be repaired.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spied my two little feathered friends flying off together toward another tree, the twigs and leaves still grasped in their little beaks.
Like I said, storms are a natural part of life and it sounds like this one is passing.
But there’ll be others.
One thing is for sure, no matter how violent the storm, it doesn’t last forever.
Sooner or later, every storm passes.
The important thing is what happens after the storm.