Weathering the storm

On a recent trip to the mountains, which we try to do with our children at every available opportunity, we encountered some fantastic weather, Storm Hanna. Anyone spending time hiking up and down mountains will know that weather patterns are unpredictable. No matter how much or how many times you check the weather reports, which incidentally can change daily, you can never really predict with assurance what is going to happen. And it can change moment to moment.

And so it was that on our first day out, which was pretty blustery and rainy when we set out, proceeded to change by the minute as we were ascending our chosen route. One minute it was raining hard, the next it would blow over, and the next the sun came out momentarily. Rinse and repeat. Until we got to a plateau, where the final steep ascent is along a narrow ridge to the top. In the best of weather this said ridge is a scramble. With our kids and trusty hound, it’s extra eyes and balance. But the wind had it’s own agenda and so we decided to let it go this time.

Being out in the mountains, subjected to their majesty and the ever changing climate, you get a sense of what we are made of. A strong sense of reverence can manifest within us when amongst nature.

But whilst there can be a feeling of near helplessness too, amidst the raging gale force winds and sheer size of the natural world, there is also a feeling of deep affinity which can arise. A sense that we are one. Our beings, physical, mental and spiritual are intertwined somehow to this great mass of energy and rock. As if what is happening outside and around us is reflected internally.

Our thoughts and feelings, whilst sometimes seeming out of our control, are really part of a larger pattern. The system is designed that way. Our own internal system, and the one outside. We can only experience things that happen to us, thoughts, feelings and the circumstance we happen to be in, moment to moment. We cannot design our future or our past. We can create the conditions for a perceived future, but we cannot predict what will happen. It’s already written down. Much like the mountain weather and it’s unpredictability.

And just like the changes in the weather which were occurring moment to moment, so are our internal weather systems transforming minute to minute. A feeling you had a moment ago, can change in an instant. The gloominess of the incessant rain may cause us to feel gloomy, but as soon as the sun comes out….well you know the rest. And we say the break in the rain caused our moods to lift. When actually our moods and feelings share the same universal pattern. They are one and the same! Chew on that for a while.

As we climbed back down the mountain , and the sun came out and blue sky appeared, we felt gratitude and respect to ourselves for respecting nature. Our internal weather systems defaulted to doing what was right for us and not going against nature- our nature.