Friday, December 7, 2012

After the Storm: The Clean Up

A tornado rips through a neighborhood. A wildfire rushes down a canyon, destroying everything in its path. A plane flies into one of the tallest buildings on earth and two of them crumble to the ground. What images immediately follow these events? Messy Ones. Like, "Oh my God, how are they ever going to clean that up?" sort of images. As if the grief and shock of these devastating events isn't enough, the destruction in the aftermath is unbearably overwhelming.

 But, it always gets cleaned up...somehow. It's messy, as there is no prescription for how to tackle the cleanup. And it takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. And, sometimes you'll be pressing on and working hard and determined to finish it, and that's when you run across a photo in the rubble that reminds you of how it was. Instantly, you're pulled back from the positive "start fresh" attitude you had minutes ago. You're pulled back to where everything becomes gray again, and you see the destruction again, and you feel the loss and anger and sadness rushing back. Suddenly, you can't stand to be there. 

So you leave the rubble - you walk away and don't come back for a while. Because it takes that long to rebuild your determination and hope...until you're ready to come back with that photo taped to your shovel and start working again. Working towards rebuilding the life you lost. At some point, the cleanup actually ends and the rebuilding begins. Most of the time, what is rebuilt is so much greater than what was lost. It takes time, patience, perseverance, and determination, but it always gets done. 

Yet another metaphor to put life in a new and hopeful perspective this holiday season.

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