Light gray with a touch of yellow… that’s the color that surrounds you after a hurricane visits, then leaves. Branches down, bits of grass stuck to your windshield and car doors; everything is weathered like two years have passed and it was just 24 hours. When the sun comes out again after a big storm, it’s beaming brighter and somehow saying, “I didn’t desert you. I was here all along.”
If one hurricane wasn’t enough, now there’s a second… and a third.
If you’ve never been through a hurricane, it’s similar to what it feels like when your cozy dinner with friends gets interrupted by a bunch of inebriated folks swinging a tequila bottle.
You heard it was heading your way, but didn’t actually expect it to make “landfall”.
Where did it all come from?!
I liked the fun, the laughter, and intimate conversations—
Before the door flew open and it got very LOUD.
South Florida and Texas got sucker punched this past summer. And if you are among the ones who have your livelihood in both places, it can be difficult. For example, some of the folks that work at Aquarius—the world’s only undersea research habitat—live in Houston and work in the Keys. This one of a kind facility took a double hit from both Harvey and Irma.
While you wait for your power to get turned back on you begin the recovery. Like the friends of Aquarius, you put on your boots and get to work. Things start to settle down and you remember the Fable of the Farmers Luck. Sunbeams sweep in and things are less grey. They’re brighter now and much more yellow.
It’s a “jump out at you yellow” that sweeps you up like walking into a Green Market or Whole Foods on a Saturday after a tough week.
A radiant display of goodness that puts an extra pep in your step. Luminescent yellow squash, sweet corn on the cob, bushels of bananas. Yellow like sunflowers, a healthy, full key lime tree from the yard, or the mellow sweetness of Tupelo honey.
Mmmm sunshine… the things you brings!
When I was growing up, my mom Annabelle loved yellow roses. It was her special thing. We all knew it, and I always felt like I should choose a different flower to love because she was already so enamored by them. Yellow roses belong especially to her.
When we would go to the pediatrician’s office—and we would go there A LOT (6 kids, first name basis)—there was a gorgeous photo of a yellow rose at the front desk. Momma Annabelle used to tell the receptionist, “If you look up and it’s gone, you know where to find it,” then wink (with both eyes) and chuckle. Yes, it was as adorable as it sounds. 🙂
Then, one day we came back and the receptionists had one made for her as a gift! She still has it!
Momma Annabelle also uses the expression “Good as Gold” whenever we meet a compassionate person with a big heart. She has always known how to spot goodness. Takes one to know one. In fact, if you look up her name, the word sunshine appears next to it. When she walks in a room, it’s there too. She brings it!
Sweet as Tupelo honey (the gold standard by which all other honey varieties are measured) and a delight to grow up around.
To have her as my “phone a friend” when I lived in Nashville and was working as a nurse with two tiny ones, as well as a 14-hour car ride away from home, was a blessing. Plus, we both had silent Celiac (which has many similarities to a hurricane) and neither knew it. We would have “Sherlock Holmes conversations” of what foods we ate that we thought were gangsters, then have tea and toast. A golden cup of tea on the phone with your mom is priceless! The toast, on the other hand, was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
When a hurricane’s a comin’—she can even make that feel less disruptive. It’s no wonder I gravitate towards the yellow and bright: Banana trees, flowers like frangipanis and lantanas, sulfa butterflies, bourbon, golden maple syrup… the list goes on.
A hurricane is one thing, but it affects EVERYTHING. Fortunately—as rough as the storms were—we have organized help in Florida to cut down on the chaos. People come together for each other and show up to lend a hand wherever they can. Recovery isn’t fast, but it’s fierce! Mix that fierceness with kindness and love, and before you know it, life almost feels normal again.
The light you bring might be one thing to you, but it might mean the world to someone else.
It might be the “power” that helps a project get finished, the impetus to self-care, or the electricity needed to run the house. Those sunshine sunbeams you’re bursting with might be the necessary fuel to pilot your own soul plane.
Life is full of ups and downs and there’s always going to be something. Bad luck, good luck… who knows? We often get tripped up when we try to understand why a certain thing is happening, or how it’s going to be resolved.
Just like how not everyone has a spare generator or what’s necessary to get through a storm, life can be the same way. You might be the refreshing six pack of spring water or that last can of Progresso soup on the shelf, and simply make life better. The little things we do for each other after a hurricane, every day, or when we can, is what makes life complete.
It’s sunny bright insight makes life just right—and lives in my heart like all things that are as sweet as Tupelo honey and as good as gold. 🌞