A poem to ease storm tension

Northern Illinois has been pummeled by unrelenting rain. When the sun finally came out, there seemed to be a palpable, collective sigh of relief.

For nearly a month, the deluge has kept many of us vigilant. I don’t know about you, but when I heard the rain tapping the the roof in the middle of the night, I kept wondering if there would be water in the basement or if the skylight would leak again.

Normally, the rain is such a comforting sound, but when it has produced floods and damage, it causes uncertainty.

This poem, “Embrace Uncertainty as a Cloud,” was written during the gloomy months after the huge wind storm we had the day after Independence Day a few years ago. It took a long time before we saw the sun. Trees were down all over town. It was a miracle that no one was injured.

After a while, the uncertainty of the weather-affected seemed to affect everyone’s mood. I began to wonder what to do with all of this uncertainty. As I often do when I am trying to figure out something, I wrote a poem. I hope you will find some comfort in it.

Embrace Uncertainty as a Cloud

When uncertainty hangs humid

Thick as a steel-gray sky

And you can’t tell if a storm hovers

In the charcoal clouds

Or if only a gentle Zen rain will follow,

Return to that still, quiet place.

Imagine you are the water itself,

The deep center of a blue, glacial lake,

The sizzling tide pulled back to its source.

Know that whatever rain must come

Has its purpose if you wish to find it.

The rain takes many forms, gathering

Its legions with the wind, which might be

Sweet summer breezes or wind sheer

Pulling pines and locusts from their roots.

Embrace uncertainty as a cloud holding water,

Building its cumulous castles in the stratosphere,

Until release comes, and come it will.

This poem was published in Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity, Wind Publications, with gratitude to Charlie Hughes, publisher.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called “The Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!