Seeking the Silver Lining

Photo by Jay Belanger

I was very tempted to hit the snooze button this morning, but then I remembered that there was no time to spare. This was after all a big day. The day I had been thinking about for weeks. I was heading off to pick up my parents at the White Plains Airport, an hour and a half away from my home. This particular solo trip was a first for me, and with every first comes a bit of nervous tension. Not the full-blown anxiety that I used to experience before learning relaxation techniques and Qigong, but tension none the less. The sky looked a bit ominous, so I decided to turn on the Weather Channel to see what was in the works. What I saw made my jaw drop. On the screen stood a weather correspondent, the caption, “White Plains, NY” running across the bottom of the screen. I said out loud, “NO WAY!” I mean how often do you turn on a national weather station to find they are talking about the very location you are interested in? NEVER! It never happens. In fact, I am generally so frustrated waiting for info on my locale of choice to pop up that I typically hastily head off to the Internet for immediate gratification. Although initially excited about the coincidence of the timing, I was let down quickly by the news that the handsome correspondent was relaying – although very rare, a tornado was expected to be hitting White Plains, along with torrential downpours and high winds. SERIOUSLY??!! I couldn’t believe the odds.

Still, I knew what I had to do. So, I went about my morning routine as planned with a few extra deep breaths, a mantra here and there (“everything is going to be fine”), and a few rounds of healing music. As I was just about to leave the house the skies opened up and it began to pour. I knew that there was no sense in braving such intense weather, and I had padded an extra 15 minutes into my trip, so I just hung tight sensing it would pass quickly. And, it did. Around 15 minutes later I was on my way. As I began to drive, the rain became lighter and lighter and for much of the trip the sky was beautiful and clear. I hit patches of rain and of course some nasty leftover commuter traffic, but for the most part it was smooth sailing. And, every time I saw the sun after a burst of rain, I said a little thanks. And in so doing, my gratitude grew throughout the trip.

By the time I pulled up to the airport there was sunshine and no sign of impending storms. I was feeling totally blessed as I drove up to the pick-up area exactly when my parents’ plane had been scheduled to arrive. I couldn’t help but marvel at how well the entire trip had gone, including how well I had kept my composure when I made a wrong turn along the way. Even that misstep brought a positive ending as it put me square in front of a mailbox when I had letters in the car that needed to be mailed.

We always hear that we should look for the silver lining of every cloud – seek the good in bad situations. But, what if we avoid and reshape potentially bad situations all together? Just by surrendering to what is, and deciding to be grateful for everything that comes along, we can choose not to see the clouds at all and just be mesmerized by the silver lining.

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