May the Storm Be With Me

She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.

– Elizabeth Edwards

I’ll never forget the taking of this self-portrait. Just weeks before I’d been cut to the quick by a deep betrayal. My best medicine is always to seek refuge in the midst of beauty, so I flew away to visit a dear friend in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. As we hiked out to “the Knob” I wondered if I’d ever trust anyone again, let alone my own self.

But something shifted inside me when my friend meandered away with his bagpipes (yes, bagpipes) leaving me alone on the stormy edge of the autumn sea. While the wind whipped through my tangled hair and raindrops pummeled my corneas I realized I had a choice – I could let myself be blown away or dance with my fear. So I got up and set up my camera with a self-timer. Peering over the edge I hopped up on some boulders and leaned into the wind.

No one was more shocked than me to discover joy was waiting to greet me. Like a human sail, I waved my arms around, teetering on the edge like a gleeful kid.

So often in this life, the only way to know how strong we really are is through the grace of letting go to receive the gifts of adversity.

This evening my thoughts are with everyone on the coasts of the Carolinas weathering Hurrican Florence. May all beings be safe, strong of heart, and free. 

Photo Credits:  

Susan Lets Go #1&2, by Susan J. Preston. Nobska, Massachusetts © 2007 all rights reserved Technical: Canon 60d | 20mm (EF-S 10-22mm) | 1/200 sec | f/11 | ISO 100

Bagpiper Rob, by Susan J. Preston. Nobska, Massachusetts © 2007 all rights reserved
Technical: Canon 60d | 100mm (EF 100mm f2.8 Macro) | 1/800 sec | f/5.6 | ISO 100

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