Storms Gather Haibun

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Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
Robert Burns

   Storms gather, and the air feels heavy. The first few rain drops are huge monsters, icy with winter indifference, a mixed bag of snow, sleet, hail and rain. The sidewalks have black ice. With the rain, they are slick, and I have fallen twice. I’m at least a mile from home. The rain stops again, the universe holds its breath, and the sun struggles through the layers of cloud.
   Despite the sun’s brief cameo, like Hitchcock in one of his movies, the sky seems in a temper, so roiled up it doesn’t even know why it’s spoiling for a cloudburst. The wind shakes the shriveled rhododendrons. I make it home with no more mishaps, and the rain comes drumming down, carrying away the snow, ice and road salt.
cleansing rainwater
gray lacework snowbanks shrinking
crow calling sadly
   Winter this year seems furious, its arctic breath wilting my desire to walk when temperatures drop to 30 below freezing. Now freezing temperatures seem warm and welcoming, and yet even warmer, winter is not without teeth, as my aching back and the shooting pain down my leg confirm, lingering sensations from my falls.
   Why has the jet stream held the deep freeze on us? As well to ask why the stars shine or why the wind always gusts strongest right after I get my hair cut and styled. It’s our turn for hardship. This is our chance to shine in adversity, as the stars do on the darkest nights.
   I understand temper like this, furious and out of control. I almost never reach that point myself, but I witnessed it growing up. The roots of the anger were older than me, I understood that even as a child. The reaction was so out of proportion with the aggravation that I always believed that more cause than just my petty crimes were responsible.
   I learned a lot from witnessing severe, stormy anger. First to stay safe: don’t engage, sooth and calm. Then to think my own thoughts, rather than let another’s emotions control mine. As long as I have my happy thoughts, visited often, they act as a shield and a sanctuary. I can then avoid adding my whirlwind to the tempest.
   Now when storms gather, I hug the first monster drops, warm the dropping temperatures with humor and let the wind cut right around me. And I head for home.
We think na on the lang Scots miles, 
The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles, 
That lie between us and our hame…
Robert Burns
___________________________________
storms come and storms go
the way home may seem long but —
home is in our hearts
Copyright 2014 Brenda Davis Harsham
Note: Inspired by the Tuesday Haibun Thinking prompt, week 2, and the first quote above by Scotland’s bonnie Rabbie Burns. Both quotes are from a Burns poem, Tam O’Shanter.

39 thoughts on “Storms Gather Haibun

  1. There are layers here that speak very deeply to me and my abiding image from reading your words is of a young Brenda sat somewhere safe and thinking her own happy thoughts. Poignant. Hope your fall injuries are healing.

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  2. I can empathize with the bit about anger. And too about not wanting and willing strongly against reaching that breaking point. I think some lessons just take a tad longer to learn. I wish I had learned mine sooner. But I did have my retreat – paper and pen.
    Well spoken for yourself and I believe many.

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  3. Your thoughts of the “sun’s brief cameo” compared to the silhouette of Hitchcock makes me think of a really frigid day I was having home visits with my teacher assistant! Only we thought it was a “Stephen King” kind of empty, dark and foreboding day! Smiles, Robin

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  4. Awwwwwwwww Brenda…wait is this how I made you fall? hahaha BRILLIANT and beautiful (no shocker). I absolutely loved the Hitchcock reference and fit so perfectly. However…anytime I hear words close to storm clouds may gather I think of Moulin Rouge 🙂 Fav movie and one of my fav songs from it but I am straying.
    Love love love it!

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    • Anja, thanks for dropping by. The moodiness just felt so Hitchcock to me. His round pudgy face and the weak white summer sun, so blurry behind the clouds…

      Moulin Rouge is a pretty amazing movie, but that wasn’t even in my mind, I was inspired by Rabbie Burns and anElephant’s tale of the Tam. I thought about anger, waiting and winter, all in my witch’s brew.

      And I really did fall twice on the black ice, I haven’t worn those shoes again since. My back is still iffy, but I’m improving. Your haibun reminded me of my falls on the ice… and might have inspired mine, if I hadn’t written mine the night before I published it. I was sure it was terrible last night, and then this morning, I thought, what was so bad? So I hit publish and then tried to catch up on you other haibun masters before my teaching gig.

      Whew, that was a long-winded reply. I must be tired, I go on and on when I’m tired.

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      • Hahahahahahah I don’t mind long replies. Please be careful on the ice. We just got pounded with ice here and that is very unusual. I went out to the beach to take pictured. Tomorrow is 3rd day home from school. I can’t lave the island because the bridge is a sheet of ice.
        Your halibun was amazing!!!!

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        • Thanks, I’m glad the clear light of morning did not lie to me about my haibun. Usually the dark of night is the liar. 🙂 I am sad you are held by the ice, too. Usually we have a bad week or two of ice during a winter, but this year, it’s endless ice. We get a break for a day or two and then more ice. Still, I am trying to get out and walk. I need it. Hugs, Brenda

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          • We aren’t suppose to have any ice or snow!!!! But strange weather and here we have both. 🙂 I was happy at first but my ADHD is kicking in. Lol

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            • Perhaps time to clean out the closets. When all else fails, and I am closed in, climbing the walls, yanking everything out of an overstuffed closet seems to be very calming for me. It’s zen, sorting what to keep, what to get rid of, finding other places for some stuff and being able to find things afterwards. Plus it uses a lot of energy. Of course, maybe you aren’t a stick-it-in-a-closet compulsive procrastinator like me…

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            • I just completely emptied my closest. Had to get rid of the rest of my ex’s belongings. So I reorganized. I use to move every three years so I emptied things often.

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            • There you go. LOL Perfect shut-up-in-the-house project. I just cleaned out some kitchen cupboards to fit my new pressure cooker. You can’t see my halo from over there. 🙂

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            • hahaha I rearranged my kitchen and now I still keep forgetting where things go. I would like a new pressure cooker.

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  5. Oh my this is so lovely and beautiful!!!! It almost makes this winter we’ve had seem better when described with such wonderful words:-) Thanks Brenda! I am very happy to be saying goodbye to January!!!

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  6. Excellent haibun Brenda and you introduced me to a new word, roiled, I had to look it up. Your winter is giving you good people so much to write about. Thanks for sharing this one, wonderful.

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    • Winter is sure on my mind, as I sling on my parka before even just picking up the paper. 🙂 I guess it’s harder to relate for those of you in summer. Is it always summer there or do you get cold winters?

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  7. This is a … I want to say fantastic, but I use that word a lot, and this is better than that. It is awesome Very well written and in a way that you can see it when you read it.

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