There I was, post “Super Storm Sandy,” sitting on an endless gas line, and the most breathtaking sunset was glaring back at me. Mother Nature had some nerve. I wanted to blurt out, “are you kidding me?” Amidst the devastation that Hurricane Sandy left behind, who had the time to stop and appreciate such beauty? Who even noticed? But held captive in my car, I had no choice but to confront the almost blinding sky. It seemed wrong, almost too beautiful, and as if it were an ordinary and normal day. How could that be? The wrath of Sandy has turned so many lives upside down, some of which will never return to normal.
But I paused to embrace the spectacular blood orange sunset and accepted it as a teachable moment. This must be the silver lining. I realized at that moment that life does go on, and that the sun will continue to rise and set every day, even at the heart of epic disaster. The notion that “every cloud has a silver lining” speaks to the fact that every hopeless situation can convert to a hopeful one. A very powerful metaphor for sure; the dark clouds mimic the difficult times that pass overhead and block the sun. But if we look more closely at the very edges of every cloud, we can see the sun fighting to shine through, hence creating a silver lining.
Clearly, no one invites a disaster…it just comes. Of course, we were all warned and most of us prepared for it. But still nothing could have forewarned any of us about this unimaginable devastation. For some who are still overcome with loss and hardship, they may not see any positive way forward yet. But I’ve witnessed that time is an omnipotent healer, and the human spirit is an imperishable one.
We’ve watched communities unite together and countless volunteers participating in the mass relief effort for those less fortunate. People helping people. We are uplifted by inspiring stories broad casted every day from families that have lost way more than electricity. They have lost their homes, properties, businesses, even some relatives and friends. And yet amid all their despair, I have not seen surrender. Instead, I see resilience. Their determination to rebuild from this disaster is nothing short of astounding. We are survivors after all. We move on and grab hold of any flicker of hope because, we must.
There is life after the storm. There is much work to do, but we must believe that there are brighter and sunnier days ahead. Look up, it’s right there behind the clouds.