A few days ago, I wrote the most difficult scene in my novel. It was difficult to write because it has to raise the stakes of Emerson Page, the heroine, to a level that cause her life to change forever. While I was writing it, I kept thinking of Haruki Murakami’s beautiful quote about the reason for storms:
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
All the storms of our lives have a purpose. Some show us how strong we are. Others show us what we care about and how much. And others are just there to show us how wonderful life can be when the storm has passed. Whatever the reason, they all matter, and the goal isn’t simply to survive, but to thrive in their aftermath and delight in what remains.
If you’re facing storms now, and who among us isn’t?, I hope you find some comfort in the idea that no matter what the reason for your particular storm, there is something to learn. It may be buried deep; you may not see the learning until the skies brighten again. But it’s there; like the sun and the moon and the stars, it’s always there.