The line of firs across the road droop with early morning frost. The neighbor’s rust and gold adorned Japanese maple glows in the dawn light. Yesterday’s dark, stormy demeanor recedes giving way to partial sun and chilly temperatures. At times, the weather conspires with my emotions. On sunny spring days, I’m glad for this. Autumn I love, yet she sneaks into my spirit, reminding me of mortality. Gloomy and turbulent days ambush me during the night following an evening of discomfort and disappointments.
Recall the opening line of Kafka’s Metamorphosis: “When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed into a monstrous vermin.”
Upon awakening yesterday morning, my personal carapace awaited. Entering its shelter, I hid from the world and its insistent “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” as a brooding Hamlet. Avoiding all unfriendly fire, I spoke only with a few family members. Wednesday’s struggles dined upon my soul, nibbling away even as the ice storm raged outside. The tempest, a perfect excuse to remain at home in my sheltering shell, offered no solace yet kept me in solitude.
Like a twenty-first century Elijah after running and hiding in a cave, I experienced the power and might of nature’s wrath. God was not in the storm. I waited throughout the day. My wife returned home from work. We sat for supper. We spoke. The carapace opened as her spirit sang to my spirit.
I slipped out of the shell during the night, awakening to this partly sunny day, rejuvenated and refreshed by God, my wife, and the beauties of nature.