Hurricane Fred blew through here last week. We moved to the mountains to get away from hurricanes and by and large we have. Plus, a hurricane on the coast is a whole other beast than one that’s bullied its way into the mountains. All that land and topography usually takes some of the oomph out of a storm.

Which is not to say they’re never bad. Fred caused plenty of trouble but we were fortunate to just get VERY wet and see some trees down.

Having come from a place where hurricanes regularly flooded our street–and on occasion our house–we still made the bold choice to live beside a rushing mountain stream. And the only time we second guess that decision is when heavy rains turn our gurgling creek into a rushing torrent. Which Fred did. Picture chocolate milk rushing and swirling just beyond the back deck.

My husband and I stood out there watching it, marveling at the force of nature and trying to gauge how much more water it could hold before spilling over the banks (it never has, but it’s gotten tense a time or two). Which is when we heard something like . . . bowling balls knocking together.

We cocked our heads and listened harder. My husband pinpointed it. Creek rocks being rolled along the bed of the stream by the rushing water. And we’re not talking rocks. We’re talking ROCKS. Not quite boulders, but certainly bigger than I could lift. And that torrent of water simply rolled them around like marbles in a bathtub.

The water’s back down now and we can see the bottom of the creek again. But it’s different. There’s a deeper channel in the middle and HUGE rocks we’ve never seen before. My husband plans to shift some of those to shore up the banks for the next storm. The landscape is altered. It’s still our creek–but different.

And I’m thinking that’s what the storms of life do for us. I don’t like going through storms. I’m a big fan of calm, gentle weather. Maybe a soft rain or a gentle breeze. But life’s full of storms. The whole world is going through one right now and we’re all getting knocked around like bowling balls.

But I believe this storm, too, will pass. And when it’s gone our landscapes will likely look different. Things will have been shifted and rearranged. But the creek will still be there. The water will continue to flow. And maybe we’ll even have something new we didn’t expect that we can use the next time a storm takes us by surprise.