Military aviation was born out of a sensitivity to how weather affects the safety of flight. Cloud cover, winds, even moonlight conditions altered planning for air strikes in all major military campaigns of the 20th century. During World War II commanders considered it vital to know whether airfields were Allied or enemy and the target area would experience a storm.
Storms come. They begin on the horizon. The elements whistle like that on a train and come barreling down the track with no concern for what stands in the way. Without sight nor discrimation it hits everything with extreme force.
How does one not just survive but thrive in these conditions? Our life sometimes can seem to be a cycle of crisis and process. In the military, as in civilian life we are either going through something, coming out of something or getting ready to go into something. Storms come, Maybe not catastrophic ones, but a series of little unfortunate ones along the way that can often creep up on us and attempt to steal our joy.
I am reminded of an oak. The oak is statuesque, regal. Wise, resolved, elegant, seasoned, rooted. When life hits an oak, it does not break. Its roots extend beyond the deep recesses of the earth and its branches yawn and stretch. The oak will conform to the storm. It will adjust, mobilize, strategize, but it will never give in.
This type of Resilience takes deep roots, action, courage, love. The bell tolls too early, reminding us to set the coffee for our spouse as they prepare for their PT test and prepare the household for the events of the day, yet these are greater goals than that of sleep. We become master craftsmen, teachers, counselors, chauffeurs, entrepreneurs, lay leaders, the list goes on. Showing up when it is inconvenient takes something every time. There is a price to pay. We have chosen to tether ourselves to something beyond ourselves. We tether ourselves to Service before Self. It is a calling of the Highest magnitude.
Becoming Rooted and Resilient is a radical change. This change comes from a thousand small choices. The daily ‘yes’ that points us in a Rooted and Resilient direction. These choices push us further and further, they cause us to feel as if we will break and then in that one sweet moment we realize we have not broken but have been reborn. We have burst forth from the cocoon and now can spread our wings with a new level of strength. We are fixed, our minds and hearts are made up, we are more mature and capable of handling the next storm that faces us on the horizon, we will not be shaken.