some days exist to remind you of the power of transformation. when we think of transformation we think a lot of the time it has to be a self-guided and created process, which is why it is all the more surprising to find that at times transformation lies in wait for you outside of yourself, and something far greater in scale snatches you up and shows you what you need to know, changes you forever without your permission. sometimes you are saved in the nick of time. you can let it change you. you can relinquish control to things outside of yourself, and let everything happen to you.
yesterday i left my house in the afternoon to try to brush aside the fog that had settled over my thoughts, maybe walking away the desolate and empty feeling i had from recent troubles i'd been fighting mightily to conquer and was failing miserably to control. the sky was darkening as i locked the front door and the trees were rustling restlessly. in a daze i slowly walked to the grocery store, feeling aimless and destroyed. on my familiar route back home with my bag of bananas, the wind had kicked up, and as i reached my house, the clouds had begun spitting rain. i passed by my house, realizing i didn't want to go inside back to my dark mood. instead i just walked north, nowhere particular to go in mind. the rain had begun streaming down and the streets emptied as the streetlights blinked on. it was as dark as night, and a wildness descended from above, lightning and thunder cracking and booming the ground like an echo chamber. i walked for a mile, passing only a few passengers struggling with umbrellas and hurrying home in the storm, my hair beginning to stream with rain. i walked unhurriedly down the now unfamiliar streets, really feeling the storm, as if the universe were staging an epic demonstration of the wild chaos i'd been harboring recently. it felt very much like quietly walking inside of myself, in awe. a feeling of intense joy had begun to overtake me as i passed the grounds of a beautiful, old Gothic high school. i went to the sprawling open lawn and let the sheets of rain tear at me as i removed my shoes and just stood in that moment, not thinking of anything but feeling grateful for all the beauty of being there alone in this massiveness, this electricity, the darkness and chaos, this synergy between myself and everything else suddenly becoming clear, my loneliness dissipating . eventually i found myself compelled to walk to the beach and go to the water. the storm quieted, then grew more ferocious as i stumbled, soaked from head to toe, onto the sand. on the beach, with no cover of trees or buildings, the enormous sky opening up for miles and beyond to the gray, shifting horizon, i could see the clouds of electricity passing over my head, lit with pink and green flashes. abandoning my things on the concrete breakers, i walked to the water, which was strangely still and undisturbed, and while thunder crashed and electricity raged all around me, i swam for the first time in lake michigan.
later i sat on the sand as the emergency alarms began sounding off, one at a time, all down the lakeshore. i remembered that there had been tornadoes yesterday, but for the first time in as long as i could remember, i was unafraid.