Silver Lining

May 28, 2012
By Caitlin Taylor BRONZE, Waldorf, Maryland
Caitlin Taylor BRONZE, Waldorf, Maryland
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Chill air stung my skin as I stepped outside onto the concrete patio, the screen door squeaking shut behind me. I heard the wind rustle the leaves left on the branches as the fallen leaves swirled on the ground like a miniature tornado. The pond shimmered as the moon beams bounced off the water, gently disturbed by the breeze. The trees were softly illuminated in the reflection. High in the trees, the birds were silent, likely sleeping like the rest of my family. The air was crisp in my nostrils with that distinctly fall scent. I could faintly smell drenched leaves, courtesy of the torrent of rain the day before.

Slowly, the sun began to rise in a halo of pink and yellow, faintly laced by wisps of pastel blue. The sun presided in the midst of color like a queen over her court. Shades of orange, pink, blue and yellow were painted behind the rising ball of flame. The long shadows in the back yard were slowly banished by the light. The new day dawned with a quiet, understated grace. A faint breeze whispered through my hair, gently teasing it. I turned my face up to the sky, basking in the joy the early morning sun brought. The world was filled with beauty, and I was only beholding a small portion.

The birds began to chirp merrily and the squirrels began to scamper about in the leaves. Everything in the world seemed to come alive, as if it had been waiting for the sun to break over the horizon. I smiled to myself as I sat on the backyard patio swing, the cold of the cloth slowly seeping into my thighs. The world was peaceful, seemingly unaware of any trouble or danger that may come. I continued to simply sit on the swing, my legs thrown across the other seat on the swing, my back against the chilled metal support. I closed my eyes and submerged myself in the sounds of nature.

I cracked an eye open a few moments later. The birds were quieting and the squirrels were no longer scampering about. The world's light was noticeably dimmed. One look upwards toward the sky provided the answer: gray clouds were slowing rolling in, blocking out the bright sun. As I returned indoors, I continued to watch the sky. I did little that day but watch the nature in my backyard. I watched the rain as it began to patter down on the concrete and grass, as it began to fall heavier, the torrent beating a steady, harsh rhythm against the roof of my house. I watched the wind barrel into the trees, bending their branches with practiced ease. I watched as a few brave squirrels darted between trees, dodging the pelting rain. I watched as the rain began to sputter and falter before slowly dying. I watched as the clouds began to recede, hours later, and a bright blue to stretch across the sky, the sun deciding to show its brilliant face again.

Something was different, though. The sun wasn't as bright, and the sky wasn't as blue. Everything was dimmer, not quite as resplendent as before. The rain still tainted the world. Even so, there was a new sort of beauty. Sunbeams glittered on the water pooled in the upturned leaves and off the pond. Whimsical steam rose up from the soaked concrete. Everything shimmered in the light. I could practically smell that tantalizing scent of the world after rain. Yes, it was beautiful, though not like the beauty of the morning. This was a beauty that could only come from surviving hardship. The rain may have beaten down and the winds may have torn down branches, but the storm had been pushed away by the effervescent light of day.

It was much like life, in that respect. Our lives dawn bright, beautiful and innocent – pure. We bask in its beauty, awed by its creation. Storms always come and we never emerge unscathed. We are hurt and scars form, a testament to the trials. Our perspectives are always changed and we will never be quite the same. This is not to say that storms never bring anything good. Rain waters the plants that we eat and the flowers that we admire. We need rain. Sometimes rain causes mass destruction, just as the storms in life cause us harm. We always emerge from it a different person, still beautiful. The light always pushes the dark away, and we continue to live until our final sunset. Our life is like a day, full of surprise, wonder and beauty.

The author's comments:
I wrote this piece after a particularly stormy part of my life. We often rage against the storms in life, but I do not think we often stop and think about the silver lining that is always present. The storms are certainly hurtful, but they are likewise helpful - if we only stop and look.

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