We are experiencing what the weather folk like to call a blizzard. Sustained winds of thirty-plus miles an hour with gusts to fifty (yes, FIFTY!) mph and blowing snow. It’s not very pleasant out there and my heart bleeds for the animals whose owners haven’t made adequate provision for them.

You’ve seen them–the dogs left outside to fend for themselves, the lone horse standing in a windswept field with no shelter. I get quite militant whenever I see this abusive treatment of creatures who are in our care. Makes me want to chain the owner out in their yard and see how they like it. Or force them to stand in the teeth of the storm with no shelter.

Well, I didn’t mean to head in that direction with this post but I’m leaving what I first wrote because there is too much neglect in the world. So let’s see if I can turn this around.

Here is a wild apple tree after the fury of another winter storm had passed and the sun was shining in a brilliant blue sky.

Pretty, isn’t it? I remember the day this was taken. The wind was calm, the sun warm on my face, the winter birds were flitting about and calling to one another. Everything peaceful and happy to be alive, including me.

Life is a lot like this with periods of extreme upset and chaos and raw emotions until the storm passes and we come out the other side, sometimes feeling bruised and battered, sometimes feeling stronger and more confident.

We should always strive for the latter–to become stronger and better people. If life was sunny and bright every day we would never have the opportunity to grow. We would become like the stagnant swamp where the water never moves and grows fetid and murky. We need those storms, those dark times, in order to find out what we are made of. To gain self-knowledge and evolve. As we grow the storms become fewer and farther between and lose their strength.

Nothing is static in life. In the same way that Nature abhors a vacuum, nothing ever stays the same. The cosmos is in constant motion. Remember that. The dark times don’t last forever. Like today’s blizzard they eventually blow themselves out. Keep in mind if you are dealing with one right now that this too shall pass. It always does. Always. At the end of darkness there is always light.