Peace in the Storm

“There is peace even in the storm.” — Vincent van Gogh

A summer hailstorm kicked up yesterday afternoon, coming on quickly and with unexpected ferocity. As the hail grew larger, it fell faster, battering everything it touched. I don’t know why, but as I watched the storm, the tragic shootings earlier this month at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston came to mind.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” —Mother Teresa

When I heard news of the shootings, I was heartbroken for the victims, their families, the community of Charleston and for us all, as a nation, that we still have such hatred and racism in our midst.

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Less that a week after the shootings, the families of the victims made headlines when they rose, one after another, in the courtroom to address the young man who had killed their loved ones. I marveled at their ability to forgive, even as they are only beginning to grieve. They have shown far more strength, courage, wisdom and love than I believe I could muster if I were in their shoes.

To me, the peace in this storm is found in their example, in their refusal to allow hate to win, in their insistence that love be the legacy their dear ones leave behind.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Video credits: Thanks to Barbara McAfee for the piano improvisation that I used as soundtrack. Thanks to Philip Goddard for use of his recording of windchimes at the end of the video, which he graciously shared at

8 Comments on “Peace in the Storm

  1. Real talent to make peace from a hailstorm with lovely sounds, scenes and words.

  2. Loved it all. Hail storm brought to us by “mother nature” was a smile creator. Wonderful quotes. Beautiful video work. Mostly though, it is the creativity you possessed at the moment to grab the footage of the the storm, that I marvel at most. You have become (or always have been) so observant. Stunning how you connect hail and horror, and something that is happening naturally in Minnesota to a human created tragedy in South Carolina. Connecting the dots in this way is something only the human spirit can do. Forgiveness is probably unique to humans too.

    • Love your comments, Marth. I appreciate every single one. Glad you liked the Mother Nature credit. :) Interestingly, two things had been rumbling around for me that came together in that afternoon storm. First, I had just thought to myself that I would love to try to catch a summer rain shower on video. And literally within a day of that thought along comes this rainstorm beyond all rainstorms that even included hail. I happened to be home. Grabbed my camera, tripod and set up in the garage to witness and film. Second, I had been feeling creatively stymied. No mojo. I was wanting to create something to post here for June but was feeling like everything I could think of creating was trivial compared to recent events in the headlines. The Charleston tragedy (an ultimate example of hatred) and the ensuing forgiveness by the victim’s families (an ultimate example of love) had been so much on my mind. I suppose I may have forced the dots connect between the storm and the human tragedy because I needed them to, wanted them to. Somehow it was part of my own process of trying to understand it all. Thanks so much for chiming in. I love the threads of thought you brought together in your note.

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