When the Storms Come

May 2, 2013 § 37 Comments

The storms have come.

The waters rise in the wetlands surrounding my home here- dark pools amidst the tall pines.  The drenching rain, cascading off the metal roof, creates waterfalls just outside the windows.   You can feel in your bones the resonance of the rumbling thunder.

When that echoing thunder subsides, I go to the sea.  Beneath the angry sky, the ocean is a roiling and foamy cauldron.

Some of these dark and stormy days I stand on the beach and scan the long arc of shoreline in each direction.  Not another soul, for miles and miles.

I love the sun, the feel of it on my skin, the magic it creates shimmering across the water.  But this gray and forbidding time, I love this as well.

Perhaps I sense that nature is showing me her turbulence and disorder, screaming her existence, and in that way, mirroring my own inner turmoil, offering her stormy kinship.

Or perhaps it is just the feel of that cold, sharp wind on my face and the freight train roar of the sea when it’s up and charging.  I think, who could stand on this beach right now and not feel alive?

The sun will return, the sea will fall back into its rhythm.   She will whisper again the message that helps me keep my footing.  I will feel her strong but gentle pull, righting me to my center.

But when the storms come again, when her voice rises in that insistent roar, I will also feel nature’s message.  Live, she demands.  Live right here, right now.  Live this one life you have been given.

Feel inside the scream of existence that I model for you.

When the storms come again.

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§ 37 Responses to When the Storms Come

  • Very well penned as always Tom. Your writing reminds me of a local Zen teacher’s work. I just finished it and it’s called, “This truth never fails.”

    I think you’d like it as well.


  • Tom, through your wonderfully chosen words, I came to the sea with you today and felt it’s strength and beauty. Earlier, I drove the country backroads where I live and felt the peace and gentility of fields, cows and blue skies. Being in the moment isn’t always easy, but when we are, the reward is always amazing.
    Thanks for writing, for stopping by.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Being connected with the natural world in any context- fields, hills, mountains, sea- is a lifeline for me.

      When we write, we can only hope that some form of our feelings and emotions come through, that the other person feels something too. Your compliment thus is so powerful to me. “I came to the sea with you…”.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and to leave for me this gracious reply.


  • BeingMama says:

    I’m so glad I visited today, Tom. Clearly, I need to stop back more often!

    • Thomas Ross says:

      Come when you can. No worries.

      I just read your “doing and being” poem. A profound message wrapped in an exquisite poetic composition. Really stunning.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my work and leave this kind reply.


      • BeingMama says:

        Thank you for visiting my blog writing, Tom! I think our connection affirms the attraction of like-to-like, I see the same intention, the same commitment to beauty and attempt to uncover a deeper meaning. Peaceful wishes!

  • fgassette says:

    What a vivid picture you paint with the power of your words.


    • Thomas Ross says:


      That’s such a perfect compliment. To “paint with words” is my great hope. I’m so glad that you felt that way about my work.

      Your recent photos of the Clemente Bridge were stunning.

      Thanks much for coming by.


  • DIRNDL SKIRT says:

    You cause me to wish I had the ocean so near at hand as a point of reference for my own turbulent (at times) and calm (at other times) inner thoughts and feelings. In the meantime, I’ll live vicariously through yours, since we are all connected 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:


      We are connected- a very good thing.

      And although you may be distant from the beach, even in the city, I can draw energy and peace from the trees in the park- or even just the wind on the street.

      But you can count on me to keep trying to express what standing before the sea means for me.

      I’m blessed for sure.



  • Gigi wanders says:

    Hey Tom

    I feel this is one of your best pieces.

    Before I even came to read it here, I had already thought to say:
    “Storm within, storm without, Tom.”

    And then came upon these words of yours:
    “Perhaps I sense that nature is showing me her turbulence and disorder, screaming her existence, and in that way, mirroring my own inner turmoil, offering her stormy kinship.”

    The magic of solitude by the sea – it’s priceless, my friend!

    Aloha nui

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Yes, I do like this piece of writing- and the feelings and moments that inspired me. I just returned from another walk to that stormy beach- the wind so strong that it turned the waves almost sideways to the beach. Not another soul- just me and my dog, Sammie. She would chase the ball downwind and then come charging back directly into that head wind at full tilt. She’s so cool.

      I understand now that my connections with the natural world are my life’s blood. Just to step outside can make all the difference to me. Even in the city- but especially in the woods, or the mountains, or of course the ocean.

      I was in Flagler several weeks ago visiting my family- thought of you.

      Enjoy the sun- but the clouds too.


  • Robyn Lee says:

    Dearest Tom – I was so happy to see your post earlier today, and not until now could I take a moment to comment. I have wondered where you might be ~ and now see you have had some storms to weather during this time away. This is so beautifully written, as always. I know that feeling of being on the isolated beach — without another soul in sight ~ and to be alone with my inner waves and winds too. I so hope your awareness brings strength and growth as you navigate this one. Always here if you need a friend ~ Sending Love and Blessings your way this day ~ Robyn

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I have the need sometimes to go away- feeling my emotional strength is drained- but then I am able to regain my balance and return. I’m grateful for the capacity to come back.

      It’s hard for me to express what it means to write and publish something real and meaningful to me- and then come back here and see- and feel- your shining presence. At times like this, I do wonder what could possibly push me away from all this and cause me to “go away.” But that’s all done and gone and what’s here right now is the deep and abiding affection and gratitude I feel to have this connection with you.


  • Anne Dickson says:

    Hi Tom, I love your new post; I can almost feel the storm of the ocean freeing me of the cobwebs of winter bringing with it a cleansing of body mind and spirit. Very therapeutic! Just what I need right now! Hoping you work through your inner turmoil and that nature as always shows you the way. Allow the magic of the sun and of life bring with it its warmth to comfort you. Many blessings:



    • Thomas Ross says:


      So how was it that I came to this place where I can write and share my feelings and then return to find you here with your own beautiful words and your caring and thoughtful message? Just lucky beyond measure, I guess.

      I’m filled with gratitude.



  • Jude says:

    Beautifully written Thomas. You are at one with nature, it comes right through in your words.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I am at one with nature. It is my greatest source of strength and wisdom- not words or ideas, but feelings and energy.

      Thanks so much for coming by again and leaving your kind thoughts here.


  • dadirri7 says:

    yes i love those times too tom, being in that roaring surge of the waves and knowing ‘this is me’ 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:


      I just returned from the beach- the winds here are so strong that no one else was there. I watched the small pieces of sea foam skitter across the sand and just leaned back into the wind- so strong it nearly held me upright by itself.

      I am never lost or scattered there. I am always just right there.

      Thanks for these many times I have opened my page here and seen your goodness and care revealed to me in your thoughtful messages.


      • dadirri7 says:

        tom, i so love your descriptions of your beach, foam and wind … i so understand how you feel right there … ten days ago it was wild here, i had to go out and watch even when it was still raining …as if nature is expressing our inner wildness and rage, our joy and abandonment in simply being alive, our no-holds-barred grasp of life … your own goodness and care is reflected right back to you dear tom 🙂

  • potterfan97 says:

    Tom, I am speechless.

    I’ve missed your words; it’s so nice to be reading them again. I have to say this might be your best piece yet. It transported me back to my favorite place on earth – the lovely sea – and it was magical, even if it only lasted a moment. Thank you for this. It made my day so much brighter.


    • Thomas Ross says:


      To imagine that my writing made you feel this way is to feel great joy and gratitude. It is so kind of you to share these feelings with me.

      You are a brilliant young writer. I’m thankful for our connection.


  • brendamarroy says:

    How beautiful and poetic. I could feel and hear the churning of the water and I wonder how much of its roaring is anger over being dumped on and polluted by humans.
    One of the things I love about nature is how it reflects the way of life to us. There will always be storms followed by calm seas which is such a beautiful metaphor of life. You captured it perfectly.
    I love it when I see an email from Only Here Only Now. I open the message with anticipation of what gems I am going to find. You never disappoint me. With gratitude, Brenda

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Yes, I have increasingly come to understand how important the natural world is to my path of living. Whether mountains, forest, or sea, I can feel centered and present and strong, if I allow Nature to show me the way.

      I’ve kind of run out of words to express my regard for your writing and your shining example of a life lived through the storms and yet filled with love and gratitude.

      So much thanks.


  • Bonnie says:

    So well put, the storms may wreak havoc, but stir things up, and help us appreciate the calm, when it comes. This is a beautiful and apt description of the rise and fall of our outer and inner worlds. You are a wise soul.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Thanks for coming by.

      I guess I am wise in my sense of knowing how little I can really know. These fundamental conceptions- gratitude, strength, presence, generosity, and love- these I know. The rest just kind of spins away from me in its complexity and duality.

      Best wishes to you and that trooper guy of yours.


  • Hello Tom,
    It is always wonderful to get a message in my inbox indicating you’ve shared something new with the world. Your posts are always written so beautifully – and this latest is no exception.
    Thank you for the reminder about something I hope to focus on in the days ahead:
    “Live right here, right now”
    Have a beautiful day,

  • I love the imagery your prose project. I feel it and see it all at the same time. This such a great message and one I need at this moment in time. 🙂

    • Thomas Ross says:

      What a perfect compliment, Susan. I’m trying to project both the sense of what I say and the feeling and imagery of where I am. So glad it came through for you.



  • I feel the storm, in more ways than one.

    • Thomas Ross says:


      Me too. My thought is that if I can recall the message, I can better weather those storms- whether the storms of nature or the storms of our inner life.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave your kind message.


  • Truly beautiful. Thanks for writing, thanks for sharing.

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