A Prayer for the Calm Before the Storm

spirituality Oct 03, 2022

There’s a moment

A small moment

A stillness that falls right before temperatures rise

And fists flail

A screams echo

Like the beat of a butterfly’s wings

Like the moment a wave washes up on the shore



The stillness filled to the brim with knowing anticipation

With readiness, with dread, with fear, 

Choking with emotion

But still


There’s a moment when we are still in the Before

When possibilities remain

Before the punch lands

Before the F word echoes

Before the cup is smashed to the floor

The Before hangs in the air


And you are there


I know you are there


If I could press pause and remain in that moment

would I see your arms reaching out to wrap around me

with grace and courage 

to face what will come?

Would your fingers weave with mine, a tiny squeeze

to let me know that I am never alone?


What words hang on your lips?

What does your heart feel?

Are you brokenhearted too?


In the Before, as we look together on this child

who wants to do his best

who wants to please me

and in this moment, simply cannot,

your eyes look through mine

with this aching love

and endless compassion

that bursts my heart wide open.


My heart touches yours 

as I lean into this pain



though my body says run.


What about all these parents watching?

Can you build a fence of protection from judgment and shame?

Or perhaps I need your eyes for them too

for the way judgment corrodes from the inside out.

If other parents with the judgy stares

are also doing their best

then they also need that endless compassion

and aching love

that you are planting in my heart

in this moment Before.


In the span of a breath

a sharp intake of air

a fortifying moment of deep connection

with the lover of my soul and of every human life,

the Before turns to After

and the stillness snaps.

Swirling motion, chaos, destruction, devastation,




The After is upon me.


And yet, the scent lingers of your steady love that pauses time

that shifts my heart into compassion.


Like jasmine on a breeze

I sense you remain

wrapped around, tucked inside

I feel the tingle in my fingers of your squeeze

to tell me I’m never alone.

And that you leave a part of yourself behind

to remain with me

through all the Afters that may come.

Why is everything so hard?


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