Celtic Thought: When Life Is A ‘Storm’

20170228-when-life-is-a-storm-1-celtic-thoughtAs we’re still in the season of spring, the cardinal point is east, and for latter-day Christian Celts, Celts and druids (and others who are aware) the primary element is air or wind.

An, for me, the latter is apt.

As many of you will know, my Dad was rushed into hospital recently – and, it feels as though I’ve been hit by a tornado, or buffeted about like a sail boat on a wind-tossed sea. Of course, it has been much worse for my 91 yo Dad (but the good news is, he is well on the road to recovery, and each day is getting stronger, and it is hoped he’ll be home within a few days).

Life, especially over the last week, then, has been a roller-coaster ride of emotions and physical ‘duress’ for me, a time when the body seems to ‘kick into automatic’ to get things done, and then exhaustion (of all kinds) comes upon oneself in the evening, in those times of rest or at least of requested rest.

For those who are acquainted with the old UK tv comedy program ‘The Vicar of Dibley’, you may remember an episode where the few attendees at the church council were meeting during bad weather. For several minutes the debate turned to previous instances of bad weather, and recollections: ‘Do you remember the great storm of…..?’, only for that title to be contested by someone because others knew it as the ‘Great Wind of….’, and so they went on to explain that for it to be a storm there had to be wind and rain.

This last week life for me feels like a great storm – wind and rain – and at sea, too!

I mention this, because I know you will have faced similar ‘storms’ in life, albeit with different events, and in different circumstances, and at different times, or maybe, you are going through just such a ‘storm’ right now? .

‘The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’ John 3:8, The Book.

No one can wave a wand and conclusively say that such ‘storms’ will go away. I know, if that were possible friends would do that for me, and I would do that for my friends, just as I would do that for my dear Dad. [Though, never stop asking, praying or engaging in ritual, please. There’s more].

But, I have been ‘buoyed up’, comforted and empowered (as has my Dad, especially), by the large number of dear friends from all backgrounds and ‘tribes’ who have sent well-wishes, good-thoughts, positivity-energy-packages and prayer, and maybe that has had a tangible effect. It feels that way, and that is sufficient. And, in some mysterious way (that we won’t discover for some time) maybe it has had other positive effects. And, maybe, that’s what it is all about?

Endurance in a ‘storm’. Journeying together. Caring for each other.

The fact that, in different ways we do travel together, support each other across the distances between us, and want to do good things, is important. I do believe that intentionality counts in the universe. We must never think that our well-wishes, good-thoughts, energy-packages or prayers etc are too small or insufficient. We must never stop our good deeds, out good-thoughts sending, rituals and prayers. These are  important. They work (albeit in ways we may not immediately expect, or even see now), and they are products of intentionality in practice.

Love in action.

From my sailing days – a small sail boat, borrowed from a friend, and sailed off the coast of Anglesey – I know that when a storm blows in, it’s time to trim the sails (that is, to reduce the area of sail exposed to the wind) and if its a bad storm to move to ‘bare poles’ and have no sail at all. It depends on the storm. As the waves ‘hit’ the sail boat, there comes a point where instead of running with the wind and waves, one quickly turns the sail boat about and faces into the wind and waves, depending on circumstances, and faces, head-on, into the oncoming surges.

At sea, how we react  depends on the storm.

In life it is much the same. The analogy holds true, for there comes a point where we hold resolutely to the tasks in hand and ride the ‘waves’, and then later we turn to face the oncoming storm. It’s almost damage limitation then and endurance. We accept some change in circumstance, but try to ward of the worst. We become more honest with ourselves, and accept the confusion (and maybe express anger and unfairness) that abounds, we become more resolute, and yes, we acknowledge our vulnerability.

So let the wind blow us
to wherever it says
we are supposed to go’
Let the wind blow us
to wherever it says
we are supposed to go
(Joshua Radin)

Nevertheless, at the end of that day, I do believe that the Source of All is Master of all, and aids us.

I want to express my gratitude to all those who sent well-wishes, good-thoughts, energy-packages or prayers. I do believe these have made a difference, and I’m humbled by your love and concern for my dear Dad. Thank you to all my dear Christian, Celtic, Druid, Pagan friends and others to numerous to mention. ‘Thank-you’ seems to small a word (or is that two?), but it’s all I have right now and it comes from my heart to you. I hope you understand. Blessings, Tadhg

‘May all the Light and Wisdom of your work
return to bless you a thousand times.’ John O’Donohue

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