Ebb and Flow

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 17, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / July 17, 1999

I will be leaving for a trip to Phoenix a week from today. The purpose ofthe trip is the national sports acrobatics competition in which my granddaughter will be competing.

We have our tickets and our reservations and have planned to make a vacation out of the trip by visiting the Grand Canyon and Sedona while we’re there.

Arizona has always been on my wish list of places I need to see before I die. I plan to be suitably awed by the Grand Canyon and am looking forwardto spending time in a city named after a mythical bird that rose from the ashes to a new life.

The symbolism is not lost on me.

Life sometimes seems to be a constant struggle for many of us. At timesit seems we’ll never get ahead or we’ll never get over a personal crisis.

Death, disease, divorce, loss of income overwhelm us. It is very difficultfor us to look at those kinds of events objectively. The intensity of thegrief, or sadness or hopelessness threatens to unravel the very fabric of our souls.

We want to believe our distress is temporary despite a cloud of despair that looms over us like the storm clouds that hover over southeastern Louisiana every summer.

It hardly ever rains in Phoenix.

There is also a bright spot inside each of us where it never rains. Troubleis, sometimes that place is hard to find. We can’t go to the atlas or theinternet for a map. We can’t call the travel agent and order the tickets. Wecan’t conjure it up by rubbing our ruby slippers together and repeating an incantation.

It’s a place we each have to find on our own…a place that is peacefuldespite the chaos of our outer lives…a place that promises renewal…ourpersonal phoenix rising from the ashes of despair to new hope.

We have to look deep inside to find it. We have to shove aside the dailyworries and struggles that constantly compete for space in our thoughts.

It comes to us as a still, small voice.

And, if we listen, we will rise from the ashes of yesterday’s tears to find new hope in tomorrow.

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