A Life Lesson from Mother Nature, By Kayla Conner
A Life Lesson from Mother Nature
By Kayla Conner
I have always been particularly fond of the rain, the way it comes, goes, and does as it pleases without a care or worry. From a young age, I have never been a person to fit in, and I’ve never cared about popularity. I loved the rain because, in that way, it acts as a mirror to who I am; the rain does whatever it wants and doesn’t care about what anyone thinks. The rain controls its own destiny. In the rain, I found strength; I found a kind of braveness so unique that not everyone can understand it. But then it stole my home, my memories, and my safe haven.
I loved when I would ride in a car while it was raining. I would pretend that the raindrops on the window were little people running in a race. The more speckles of rain the little people gained as they sprinted across the window, the more momentum they gained. After a while, the raindrop people became unstoppable, invincible. And that’s what I wanted to be. At the time, I never knew that kind of power could destroy my home, everything I had ever known.
I remember standing outside my home, as the water rose higher and higher, as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “It’ll never happen. The rain wouldn’t do that. The rain is good. The rain is just.” The more the water came up the yard, the harder it was to keep telling myself that. I knew it wasn’t true. I just wanted to hold on to the tiny shred of hope I had left. We grabbed what we could and left before I could watch Mother Nature betray me and my family and the life we had always had. Every day of the week that it took for the water to go down while it still rained, my family and I would drive back to the house as close as we could and just look. I would watch my life as it sat lifelessly under the water that I once wanted to be like. At the time, that made me angry. The one element that represented me the most was also the very same element that destroyed me the greatest. I could not comprehend how something like that could happen, how everything that was my life could wash away from me in the blink of an eye. How could the same collection of water drops that gave me life do something so cruel, so unforgiving that I felt as though I were lifeless?
After that, I figured “What’s the point?” Why should I work so hard for something, strive to achieve goals so high in my life when something as simple as a seemingly infinite collection of tiny raindrops could make them crash and burn, or in this case drown, just like that? I figured there was no point. Immediately after the flood, I thought I had figured out how to master living life. I thought that the key to surviving life was to only do the bare minimum. That way if it washed away, at least it wouldn’t be so difficult to accept the little loss that would occur. At least I wouldn’t miss it so much. At least I wouldn’t be left feeling as empty as I did then.
But as the days, and weeks, and months passed by, I realized that Mother Nature had taught me something I needed to know and will forever be thankful for: you shouldn’t become complacent. When you get comfortable, the losses in life actually hurt more. The pieces of this incredibly confusing puzzle called “Life” truly started to make a bit more sense. Part of the reason my home flooding hurt so much was because I was so comfortable with the life that I built inside of it that, in a way, I neglected to consistently construct my life outside of it. That house acted as my shell, my protective shield against all that life had to offer. I didn’t have to work to explore for anything more, because I thought everything I wanted was already right there. When the house flooded, my shell was ripped away from me. If I wouldn’t have restricted myself from the infinite offerings of the world, I would have been able to better cope with life’s inevitable change.
Now I know that I should always continue striving for my highest goals without worrying about what could happen to my hard work. As long as I fearlessly pursue my dreams, my path will always be full of possibilities instead of the pain of loss. I will be unstoppable. I will be invincible. I will be the rain.