While I wouldn’t go into a stormy ocean or lake in the middle of winter the thought of being present in such an environment resonated deeply with me. When I used to live in downtown Chicago I’d often make my way to the lakefront during winter storms just to be present to the power of nature. It really is something else to be standing close to a large body of water during a storm. The power of the waves and wind is really breathtaking. Add to that the driving snow and ice and it is a moment in which you truly feel alive, and in my case very thankful that I had a warm home to return to when I was done.
The article also struck a chord with me around the discussion of being judgmental about people whom, deep down, you really admire. My best friend in high school, who I shared a dorm room during our first year of college, was someone who went through a lot of changes during that first year. Lots of experimentation with drugs. Cheating on his girlfriend.
Looking back now these weren’t so untypical of the college experience but boy did I love to sit in judgement over how he was ruining his life. And of course I ended up doing some of the same things later in college. We lost touch after that first year of school and I deeply regret it now. I tried in the past to reach out to him via Facebook with no response. I can’t say that I blame him really. Based on what I saw on Facebook he came through it just fine, just as I did in my own experience.
It is so easy to judge, so much harder to be empathetic.