Fresno had its first big storm in recent history. It rained yesterday so hard and for so long that I could do nothing else but to stare at it all day long. As a rain-deprived person living in a rain-deprived city (state?), I cherished each moment; I was in paradise.
I loved rain my whole life. I sneered at weathermen (women) who called rain ugly. Or anyone else who mentioned the “bad” weather we’re having. I’d be a perfect fit in Seattle or other places with high rain count. The times I’ve visited tropical places—Jamaica, Hawaii, Cancun—I wanted to spend as much time in the rainforests as I did the beach.
But places that see little rain suffer when it finally comes. The trees that receive its nourishment from the three-times-a-week shallow watering have roots that grow near the surface, where the water is. So heavy rains result in easily toppled trees. And walking home from my daughter’s school this morning, I saw several semi-mature trees uprooted, lying on their sides, knocked over by a light wind and water-soaked roots.
The trees that still stand are the ones who will benefit from the storm, made stronger because of the deep watering. For each storm it survives, it becomes stronger because of it.
I feel the same about writing. For each storm I endure, be it writer’s block, rejection, self-doubt, I become stronger for it.
It can either make us or break us.
I admit wanting to lie on my side and call it good, over, done, finished—everyday. But the fact that I forge ahead against the wind, against all odds, says I’ll be here awhile, plugging away, letting the smallest of successes strengthen my roots.