The Stormy Afternoon


“Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.” ― Pema Chödrön

The gate to the sunflower field was closed, and the parking lot deserted when I got there at 7:30 or so.  We had rain – crazy, green cloud rain – all afternoon, and I thought the lingering raindrops and wet yellow petals might be something to see.  I’m not brave enough to trek up to the field in such an isolate situation, though – even if it is Middleton, WI. But I am “brave” enough to dawdle around the prairie restoration at the edge of the parking lot, where I can skedaddle away when (not if) I get scared.   I stayed until another car drove in, but nothing was spoiled.  I found what I came for.


Lately, I’ve been surprised how much common experience I still share with friends from long ago, far away, and very, very near.  Our circumstances vary quite a bit, but we all seem to be in the same predicaments.  Our work lives have narrowed to the point of requiring some re-habilitation, either of mind or means.  Family complications are so far beyond our control that there is nothing to do but laugh and cry in the same conversation.  I don’t think we’ve changed that much. We’re the same teenaged people, facing up to life’s persistent lesson:  You just don’t know anything, do you?

I feel, for the first time in quite a while, that when I say something honest about my own ineptitudes, at least a few people will nod along with me.  The funny thing is, I think your sympathies were there all along.  Mine was the hardened heart.  How could I feel your empathy when my own thoughts were turned against myself?

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One thought on “The Stormy Afternoon

  1. Dear Brenna – I know I am not alone in saying that you are a wise woman, and an artistic wise woman is worth more than riches. Thank you for giving us these gifts. I LOVE them. (too bad like is perpetually the only button offered to us).

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