The Beautiful Storm: Life’s elegant struggle


Chincoteague Island. The Beautiful Storm.Every once in awhile, we are lucky enough to witness those beautiful, awe-inspiring sights that are etched into our memories forever. Later, when our mind wanders, we are free to revisit the mental photograph, to give meaning to the image in our mind.


It feels strange being the tallest object around you. From where I stood, I could see for miles. Out in the distance, past the marsh and beyond the dry cracked wasteland, I watched the black clouds encroach and expand, absorbing the tiny outlines of distant trees in their shadow. The storm was rolling in, and I could feel an instinctual anxiety building in my bones.


My body told me to leave, to find shelter, but my eyes were transfixed. I had never seen anything like this before. I could see the grey wisps building at the horizon, growing and darkening as they drifted closer and closer.

Storm on the Horizon





As the storm approached, its massive body descending over the clearing, the sky was divided into two halves. The left half of the sky was a high and brilliant blue. It was cloudless, clear, and inviting. The right half was darkness– fear and shadow.


I stood, feeling smaller than I have ever felt. My miniature figure was dwarfed by the churning, black sky. As I watched, the clouds seemed to reach down towards the earth, as if they wanted something– needed something.

I felt primal fear. But also an overwhelming awe. Fingers from the heavens. Claws from the clouds. What had they come to take? What on Earth was powerful enough to stop them? This was a force of nature. Of God.








I Left. But even in the car, alone on the road, there was a lingering sense of vulnerability. The car rolled down the street, as the clouds rolled in above. The world was being covered in a black blanket. Moments later, the air was full of water and fury.


I know now what the clouds wanted, what they took.
They gathered up all the fear. They gathered all the bad, the stagnant and the dark, and they contained it in a tumultuous assault of wind and rain. What the clouds could not contain in the sky, they unleashed on the ground in an angry onslaught. Then the clouds took what was left of the pain, and the bad, and the evil– and they left…

They took the old, and they made it fresh. Without that storm, the wastelands would have remained cracked, the marsh would have dried, the air would have been stagnant, and life would have been stifled.  Sometimes a storm is needed. Sometimes the fear, and the struggle, and the hurt are just God’s fingers, pulling out our pain, and gathering it to the sky.

The peace that comes after a storm is not possible without the violence.











Life is full of storms. Sometimes they will be necessary. Sometimes they will be big and seem impossible. Just remember, the stronger the storm, the more intense your peace will be after you weather it.

The Beautiful Storm
-Garrett Ashe


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Story of A Snowman (Happy New Year!)


This is an interpretation of the past week’s events. It is the story of a Snowman.

The Snowman

There once was a Snowman, built happy and strong from the fresh snow of Yesterdays. He was pampered and loved by his builder… at least for awhile. Then he was quietly abandoned


As time passed, the Snowman became sad and lonely. The builder checked in from time to time, but was far too busy for an old toy. He had moved forward to new things, much much more important than a silly figure made of snow.

But the Snowman, like all investments of the mind and heart, was made of far more than just snow. He was made of love and memories. And without love and affection, the Snowman began to melt.

When the builder saw this, a part of him was sad. But he had already moved on. The Snowman had been a fun adventure in passing, but had already served his purpose. The builder, of course, could not afford to dwell long on the well-being of a silly man made of ice. Instead, seeing the sad condition of his old friend, the builder made some quick cosmetic adjustments to keep the snowman together, and once again moved hastily onward.

Sad Snowman

Days passed and the Snowman grew sickly. Through loveless neglect, he became shrunken and mangled. A sad shadow of his former self; a sad reflection of his current circumstances. Eventually, the builder returned to find him melting and in this miserable state. The builder tried to pack what was left of his old friend back together.

The atrocity that resulted was a filthy, disturbed mass of hardened ice. The builder took a step back. This new Snowman was a pure manifestation of hate and madness– the Snowman’s anger and the builder’s self-loathing.

Demented Snowman


Look now to the puddle in the grass. Water and regret.
The Snowman is gone.

You see, a snowman thrives on the cold, just as we thrive on warmth. Without an icy touch, the snowman becomes an ugly shadow of his former self. Without the warm touch of genuine love, we too will slowly waste away.

Dead Snowman


We are heading into a new year. Let us not become Snowmen. Let us not fall victim to the icy hardening of our hearts. Let us be builders. And Let us protect and value the things we build and the people we build with. Happy New Year!





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