Sometimes I write things.

During an ongoing storm inside the habitat, I started writing what vaguely resembled a poem, inspired by the cacophonous sounds of varying-intensity rain reverberating through the hab’s canvas layer. There, I reminisced about nostalgic memories tied to bad weather.

I thought of the time a flooding storm rolled in while climbing a volcano, resulting in my now still-battered and weathered passport and destroyed shoes. I remembered the rain forest seemed to have new life breathed into it as the sun came back out when we reached the peak, clearing our view of the surrounding islands and making our success that much sweeter.

Passports and tropical rain storms don’t mix.

I thought of when we woke to snow falling outside my window in a small French industrial town. It was barely a flurry compared to what we receive back home, so I immediately took it for granted and as I often did, looked at falling snow with contempt. I remembered the way my friend who had spent the night sprung up, her eyes wide and excited to witness the snowfall for the first time, a gift given the fact it’s non-existent where she was from. I felt silly for forgetting what that felt like, and wanting in that moment only to show her a proper New England pine forest’s snowfall and the wonders of laying on a questionably frozen lake.

I thought about the way dangerous Nicaraguan city streets became devoid of anyone when overbearing rain passed through, and how fulfilling it felt to stride through the sidewalks, sporadically sheltered by colorful overhangs, temporarily feeling as if I were a man without worry.

I thought about how lucky I felt to wake to the sound of howler monkeys and rare bird calls, and to be constantly reminded how nature has so much sound but no noise.

And in all of this was an idea: Don’t weather the storm. I thought about putting aside fear and disdain for the rain and snow, and indulging in its surreptitious benefits instead.

The more I thought about it, the more I remembered that some of my best memories are tied to terrible weather.

As I finished a quick draft of the poem about embracing storms, I received an automatic news email from Twitter.

The headline?

“Tornado kills 5 people in East Texas”

This is the life that chose me.


Granada, Nicaragua

Don’t weather the storm
as they tell you to do.

Weathering is all about clinging on and white-knuckle-waiting while something stronger wears away at coarse imperfections, sanding you, over time, into a perfectly smooth, recognizable shape.

Don’t weather the storm.

Let the storm permit you to wake slowly on a lazy Sunday,
arms guiltlessly cradling jet black hair framing a face with large hazel eyes and a foreign tongue.

Doze in and out to the rhythm of raindrop battalions knocking at your bedside.

Let gravity gently roll already struck drops down from one window pane to the next with the same cadence as your lips from one side of her neck to the other.

Submit to your dream-journey partner’s head tilting, wide peaceful smile complimented by still-slumbering eyes.

Don’t hastily wish away the rain,
but afford the same luxury of oversleep to the Sun that it does you.

You can be sure once it’s gone, it will return someday,
but empty pillows are more plentiful than hopeful lovers
and rarely comfort a gaze capable of virtuously stealing away the day.

Don’t weather the storm.

But indulge in its array of self-reflecting ricochet,
organized chaos making city indistinguishable from forest.

Watch as waters cleanse streets of the fearful and
Transform sidewalks to rivers, their scuffs and indents branching canals twisting and turning without regard for traffic laws and stop lights.

Let awnings become waterfalls gateways,
And sewer covers deep caves-turned water wells,
Reminding you that it is not the rain that invades our space,
but our concrete slabs that graciously inhabit theirs.

Don’t weather the storm,
or wish away the snow.

Let inability to leave empower you
to indulge in natural aromas around you
of coffee slowly sipped, reveling in savory subtleties of your daily drink,
tasting it for the first time.

Submit to the present,
Walk the pristine path carved by squirrel prints,
or pen and immortalize an idea you’ve had for a while

Observe each snowflake not though your own eyes, as a burden,
but through the joyful eyes of a girl who’s seeing a snowflake’s journey for the first time,
drifting from the sky to the needle of a pine,
landing once outside the window,
and twice more in the reflection of her
wide hazel eyes.

Let the fog blind you and remind you
that vision is more often just clouded indecision
and your dreams are merely hidden, not gone
Consider the fog’s intention is perhaps not to block your view,
But an artifact of desiring to be seen as we all do

Let the thunder’s blast rattle your confidence and forceful wind oscillate stained-glass windows,
exposing the fragility of your modern shelter,
indomitably supported by crumbling sheet rock and fortified with ticky-tac nails.
Let gales show you that
is made of an idea,
not of stone

Don’t weather the storm,
shutting your eyes until the sun rises again.
Don’t take shelter under blankets until thunderous sounds dull

Because bitter coffee tastes sweeter when saline waters fall,
And its warmth embraces more intensely when opposed by winter chill

Don’t weather the storm

Because when the call of the birds beckons the sun’s return and the raindrops dry,
And you’re left with one more typical sunny day, indistinguishable from others,
You may find yourself in the status of wishing for a nimbostratus among those rolling cookie cutter clouds,
Reminiscing about the good old bad days,
you had dared to feel the gentle caress of falling rain.



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