In September I began the Certificate Program at the Allender Center, and I took with me one overstuffed suitcase, one tender story, and one eager heart. I quickly discovered that my time in Seattle would include joy and sorrow, frustration and fear, barriers and breakthrough, isolation and community. At times it has felt like the sun is shining brightly over the experience; at other times, a brewing storm has been unleashed.
I returned from that first weekend to find that a very different storm was gathering back home. Within a week of my homecoming, my husband resigned from his role as an elder at our church, a position he’d held for more than ten years. Though I had been anticipating this decision for a while, I confess it still felt like being caught in a surprise rain shower. I was unprepared for what this decision would evoke emotionally and for what it would provoke relationally.
Both of these realities—my ongoing work with the Certificate Program and our unfolding situation at church—have continued over the past seven months. My time in Seattle has an energy to it that wakes me up but also wears me out. I return home feeling a good sort of tired—I am completely full but also fully spent. Yet, I find the rain is still falling here, and I find myself becoming skeptical that it will ever stop.
I am drenched in disappointment, uncertainty, and grief while at the same time holding the knowledge, experience, beauty, and rebirth that I’m experiencing in Seattle. Simply put, I’ve been flooded. And there’s been no way to navigate around it; I have just had to surrender to the rising waters and trust that I will not drown.
In my hometown more than twelve inches of rain fell during the month of February, surpassing the record set nearly 150 years ago. On one Saturday alone, more than five inches of rain fell. Water rose in streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes throughout the day, inching toward asphalt and eventually overtaking it. A simple ride home turned into a sudden adventure as we navigated side streets and back roads trying to avoid flooded routes.
When we finally reached our house, perched on a hill, we retreated into its warmth and watched as rain spilled from our gutters, reminding us that when the rain stopped, we needed to clean them out. However, after hours and hours of constant rainfall, we became skeptical that it wouldever stop.
What do blue sky and bright sunshine look like? How quickly we forget.
Mark Twain wrote, “I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” I have counted the same over the past seven months.
The natural world seems to be mirroring the weather in my own heart.
Then, just this morning I noticed that daffodils have risen in the flowerbeds, looking tiny suns shining against the dark soil. They lift their trumpets to the skies, heralding the coming of spring. Song birds gather on the branches of an ancient dogwood tree, and they rejoice over the dry skies before the sun has even risen. March is here, and with it, my final trip to Seattle. I sense the waters receding and new life coming. Like the cardinal perched on the arching branch outside my window, I begin to sing a hopeful tune as I shake the droplets of water from my weary wings.
A lover of story, Susan Tucker has always been captivated by beautiful writing. She is drawn to themes of tension, joy/grief, hope/loss, freedom/shame, which she explores in her own writing. Susan spends her days teaching middle school English, mothering her two teenage sons, and loving her husband of 25 years. She cherishes her first cup of coffee each morning, moments of quiet and solitude, restorative yoga, worship music, and faithful friends.nbsp