And in the aftermath, when the drama has ended, when the stage lights go down and the crowds of onlookers move away, we are left on on our own, in the quiet.
Whether illness or argument, business deal or break up, there comes a time, a necessary time, when all others disappear and we are left alone, to sit in the sombre space of quiet and reflection.
For a while our minds race.
We roll over events again and again and wonder, could I have done this differently? Have I done too much or not enough?
When adrenalin is pumping through our veins we are unstoppable, unparalleled in our capacity to solve, produce or pounce into action.
But once the action ends and our pulses return to their pre-stress state, we begin to notice the tender ache in our limbs and temples, the fatigue in our shoulders and the tension in our jaw.
And we may also begin the gentle wonderings and questions of ‘what’s it’s all been for?’
Just as the storm blows in and rages through the night, just as we are terrified of its might, when we are caught in its claws we fear it may never end.
But it does.
Inevitably it passes, and we, maybe damp and disheartened, maybe shell shocked or soggy, remain.
At these times and all others, it is so important to rest.
To allow the in-between spaces.
To honour the mess, the madness and the magical moments of our lives.
It is vital to give time for integration, to give pause and protect the quiet spaces before and after our big and small events. Even the ones that we have carefully planned – the weddings, the house moves and career leaps. But we also and especially, need a break between the unexpected and unplanned events – our times of illness, accidents, grief, loss and big love.
Life invites us to move gently beyond the mania.
To land softly after the exultation and bliss.
To listen, learn and lean in to the space that sits between all things – silent and often unseen, it offers us grace and wisdom as we reflect on where we are now and what has been.
It can be tempting to jump from one course to the next, one lover to another.
But let us observe the seasons – the gentle slide, the holding, the gradual loosening of the grip before letting go.
The call to distraction will always be there.
The push and pull between past and future will, like fingers, try to pry us from the present.
Protect the poetry of the pause.
Let us be like the bulb who lies dormant, then must pierce the earth with its soft green tip long before it flowers.
Let us be like the full green leaf that slowly turns to red and gold before it withers and falls.
Let us be true to our nature, to our natural need to rest between activity.
And may we, in the moments of our gentle pause, find experience, learning and wisdom in it all.
(c) Chandu Bickford