Bruised But Not Broken








The torrential rains falls for over 30 hours.  For much of that time, the winds howled and angrily churned as foliage of all sizes yielded to its ferocity and pull.  We watched as massive trees were tossed about and landed on and near roofs, siding was ripped from homes, and tin was peeled back from atop structures.  In the midst of the storm, two birds buried their heads close to their chests and sought shelter alongside the bird feeder they often frequented in our backyard.

Once Hurricane Irene moved north and her effects were no longer being experienced in our area, the path of her destruction became more noticeable.  Thousands were without electricity.  Many homes were damaged by trees that had lost their struggle and fallen, flood waters and debris were isolating whole communities, and the coastline of our State had once more been altered.  Neighbors checked on neighbors, individuals helped friends and even complete strangers with clean-up efforts, and the names and phone numbers of insurance agents rose to the top of lists as individuals assessed damage and began the recovery process.

Amid the flurry of activities and the prevailing edginess evident among many I encountered immediately after Irene, I was struck by the clematis at the front corner of our garage.  Outside through the entire hurricane, this plant had withstood the battering rains and wind.  Even though several limbs appeared bent, not a single one had been broken.  Many of its white blossoms remained intact.  Only a few even appeared bruised.

What made this plant different than many of the pines and oaks I saw in our neighborhood?  How had this vine withstood the storm?  Was it because of the trellis on which it was so intertwined?  Did the brick face of the garage provide
shelter from the winds and rain?  Was it because the tender plant did not resist the painful onslaught of the elements, merely yielding its limbs and flora to be tossed about?

While I fail to understand why, I know we all go through storms.  If – when– you are bruised and bent, there are clinicians at CareNet Counseling East available to offer support; they are trained and prepared to provide counsel, to listen and extend faith-integrated care to help you withstand the storms of life.

Blessings to you and yours!
– Janie Jones Taylor, PhD, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Clinical Supervisor