It was 10 below zero when I woke up this morning. The sun is shining so bright I need to pull the shade to avoid squinting. And layered over an ordinary March morning is this ceaseless ache for the anguish across the globe. 

Moments in Ukraine—described by its brave and frightened citizens—are a refrain in the back of my mind as I contemplate my day of painting, running errands, talking to a friend. Each of these Ukrainians described the day before their lives were shattered. Planning to bake a cake to take to work and share with coworkers. Arranging a bouquet purchased at the super market. Anticipating a weekend trip to see a friend.

It’s all so fragile.

Their days ‘before’ are just like my day today. I don’t know what is coming tomorrow, but I know what has happened for them. So I let the winter sun shine on my face and send out my own small seemingly futile prayer into the flood of global good wishes toward Ukraine. Small flags of hope.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore


© Sue Schlabach