It had rained all day and two more storms were expected. That evening we got a reprieve as the clouds parted and the full moon lit up the night sky. From our house, just blocks from the beach, we could hear the waves crash and the fog horn blare. They sounded like a train engine roaring. Excited to see the huge breakers, John and I walked arm in arm to the beach, while sharing about our days.

The sand was unrecognizable. Half of it had disappeared under water. The waves rolled in fast, one stacked on top of the other four at a time. The remaining sand was re-shaped into different patterns. Where the beach once sloped gently towards the water, there were now large two foot drop offs. White froth from the tips of the waves skimmed over the sand like desert tumble weeds. Tangled bunches of salty smelling seaweed strewn among rocks, drift wood, broken clam and mussel shells, skeletons of dead sand crabs, and lifeless seabirds. I watched each step carefully as I walked through this obstacle course. Despite the wind the air was unusually balmy for this time of year. I was comfortable in just jeans and a sweatshirt.

John and I stopped and looked up in awe at the still ominous moon. There was a full rainbow circled around it. Red, orange, yellow, building into green, blue, and purple – all of the colors were present. Mesmerized, I stared for several minutes soaking up the moons beauty. I had never seen anything like this phenomena since a storm had passed through Big Bear eight years ago and, before then, I had never seen it.

Reflecting on this miracle, I thought of how I had weathered the storms in my life. The deaths of my brother and father had turned my life upside down causing it to be unrecognizable, just like the beach. As I navigated each storm, I needed time to slow down, go within and be still. I needed time to process my grief before I was ready to embrace new possibilities for my life.

As I integrated each loss, something new was born. A new ME emerged – stronger, wiser, more compassionate. New meaning came out of the storms with regard to my life work and purpose. Life became richer, deeper, and more beautiful. I was seeing it through new eyes.

The rainbow moon represented hope in the storm for new possibilities, for new life. It showed me by its still silent presence; it was always there, even during my darkest moments of grief and despair. It lit up the night sky, shining light in the darkness.

If you are currently encountering storms in your own life, slow down and go within. Carve out time to allow your grief and to ask some deeper questions, “Who am I now? Why am I here? What is my purpose?”

In the aftermath of the storms in our lives, we have the opportunity to re-invent ourselves. As we heal, we can begin to open up to new possibilities, finding hope even in the midst of a storm.