Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Day Under a Washed Blue Sky

(photo by Tabitha Bird)

There is a plan. Even if there doesn't appear to be. Especially if their doesn't appear to be, there is a plan.
Lately I have been hanging on this though with a white knuckled grip.
Brisbane has flooded. No, I didn't loose my home. No I didn't loose my family. But I live in a city in morning. Matt and I lost thousands of dollars worth of exhibit stands that out company builds and stores in a warehouse in Rocklea. The warehouse was gutted. Literally. The owners of the warehouse are close friends of ours. They work in the exhibit design industry the same as our family. They have built their company from the ground up, the same way we are building ours. And they lost everything. There is no insurance because Brisbane flooded in 1974 and those areas that were affected then couldn't get flood insurance after. Rocklea was one of those areas.

Like everyone, we will carry on. You do. You just do. In all this I also have a book that I have queried. Not the best of times perhaps, but who knew my city was going to flood the very week I chose to send a query letter? So I wait. For life in Brisbane to begin again and for the pages of my own life to turn. And sometimes, just sometimes, in the quite of an afternoon, when the sky exhales and the sun lays its head on the horizon, I lay my head down too.

While I was away recently, stuck up the Sunshine Coast unable to get back to Brisbane because of road closers, I sat watching this man fishing. On the edge of a sand bag jetty covered with the murk of sea moss while the beach behind him swelled with he drift wood and debris of flood water now washed into the ocean waters he threw in a fishing line. I wondered if he had family he couldn't get back to. I wonder if he had a house in Brisbane currently going under. And if he did, why fish? With all this devastation around us, why try to catch anything?

Then last night I was watching this movie. The lead character is in the back of a Hummer with bombs turning the sky a burnt orange. the bridge they have to cross to escape is blown sky high. He laughs and turns to one of his mates and says. "There's always a plan. Even when there's doesn't appear to be, there is always a plan."

I sat in the unnatural flickering light of the TV and everything stopped for me. I asked myself what I believed.
Is there a plan? A being greater than myself who is in control? Is there a God? And if I believe that, which I do, then isn't He still in control even now? Even when there seems to be no plan?
Yeah. I know. It's probably not what everyone else watching the movie was thinking, but that's me. I'm seldom on the same thought plane as others anyway :)

I finally understood the point of fishing, even after a storm, even while Brisbane floods and a people grieve. There is a plan, even when I can't see it. And sometimes that's enough to know.
As long as there is still an ocean there is a chance a to throw your line in. To be apart of the living. And to see what might become of a new day under a washed blue sky.

So tonight I whisper to all the shaking parts inside me. "There is a plan. Even when there doesn't appear to be, there is always a plan."

What about you? Ever believed there was a plan even when there didn't appear to be one?


  1. My apologies for not visiting many blogs. We've had a bit going on. I am off to visit now though :)

  2. Yes, Tab. I do. Thanks, largely, to you. When I couldn't understand why my little grandson had to be suffering the way he has, I saw my daughter. I saw her stand up to surgeons/consultants/nurses and fight for what she KNEW was right for her son. And in her actions, I saw all the times I fought for her as she grew up. And I knew. I suffered for her. She is suffering for him. And without our suffering, we couldn't be the parents our kids NEED. Jayden needs HER. Not some other mother, THAT mother.

    I realized. It isn't about the horrible disease that happened to him, it is about the mother who is EXACTLY the perfect right person to be his mother. We have our tangled paths to walk, but sometimes, we have exactly the right person to walk alongside us. THAT is the plan.

  3. I hold on to that truth most when the plan seems completely absent.

  4. very auspicious image you uploaded

  5. The photo reminds me of the flicker of hope in all of us that things will get better if we do our part. Yes I believe there is a God prepared plan for our lives and that he is always by our side. I think the plan he has for us is more simple than not. It's just that we don't like to go through bad things or see others go through them. This isn't the place (world) of perfection and things will happen that are ugly.

    Lovely post. I needed it.


  6. I'm so sorry to read about what you have lost due to the flooding.

    I have seen again and again in my life that there is a plan, often for more encompassing and beautiful than I could have imagined but the waiting is lonely and painful sometimes. It can feel like there is no reason or plan at all and that is a hard place to be in.

    I find your own thoughts that you had while watching that movie so moving and hopeful.

    Praying that you find your feet quickly.

  7. LOVE that photo! I think you found your second calling! AS for me, yeah, I do believe there's been a plan from the beginning. It's murky from down here, but someone holds them.

  8. I don't know if it is what you do when these things happen as much as how you do it. When you handle things with grace and perserverence and hope, like you are, then you are sticking with a good plan. My prayers are with you Tab.

  9. Ah, good lady, I'm so sorry for your situation. Strength to you and yours in the coming weeks.

    You'll make it. You're too much of a fighter not to.

  10. I am not sure what I believe any more. If there is a plan, I'm not sure I agree with it much of the time these days.

  11. I'm so sorry for your lose. I do believe in there being a plan though. Sometimes I think adversity opens a door we never took the time to see before.

    Keep your head up and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  12. My heart breaks for you and for so many who have lost so much. But even though life can be so incredibly bleak at times, I do know that there is a plan. That things happen for a reason, and that sometimes bad things do happen to good people. *extra hugs*

  13. Yes, absolutely, there IS a plan :)
    Hugs to you and prayers.

  14. My heart went out to all who have lost in the flooding. You ask about being a reason, well I think there is, when my mum passed away suddenly I was totally shocked and upset, 3 days later my husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and within 2 months he too passed away. I believe mum went on ahead of my husband to be "There" for him, In life they were extremely close and thought the world of each other. Perhaps you may think me silly but
    that's what I believe.


  15. Sometimes you have to wing it. I even BS myself if necessary. The end result is the job was finished. I may be stumbling fumbling and bubmling, but I complete the task and that's what's important.

  16. I've always been a believer in fate, especially when things seem to be going wrong. Is there a plan? I say yes, because its important to keep hope alive, esp in the face of adversity.

    I hope things get better for you and all of Queensland!

  17. That is an unusually intriguing photo.

    It seems my plan is to avoid having a plan and if I do happen to make a plan, sabotage it.

  18. Great photo! The question is a hard one. In the sense that there is an ocean, so the plan is to fish, then yes, I think there is a plan. Pretty much beyond that is coincidence and timing and free will.

  19. That is a gorgeous photo--looks like a painting (did you alter it at all?) The idea of fishing during disaster reminded me of an old woman interviewed for a newspaper article during one of the big riots in Los Angeles. She was asked why she was gardening with chaos all around. She said because it was what she always did to calm herself, to make sense of things.

  20. TB I am very sorry for what you have lost dear one. My heart goes out to you. I certainly believe in God's plan. As hard as it may be to understand.

  21. G'day Tabitha, I honestly believe in the old adage as one door closes (loudly and firmly) another one opens if we look hard enough. The question is whether we have the courage to walk through the new, scary and unfamiliar door. Or pick the right one if more than one presents itself. If we truly learn from decisions we made in the past and draw inspiration from those closest and most valued around us, then we will find the courage to endure - what ever obstacles are thrown our way. Tabitha, you (and your wonderful family will endure) because you have had the courage to walk through so many scary doors already and I for one look to you as someone I truly value for inspiration in lifes plan for me. xxxxx

  22. I always enjoy reading words you have written Tabitha. I am always made to feel 'comfortable/comforted' when reading such.
    And yes, I am a great believer of 'everything happens for a reason' even if at the time we don't know why. In time though, if one looks back on ones life we can see how all the jigsaw pieces fit together.This is how I have found such through my own 'living'.
    Thought provoking words, you.

  23. My heart goes out to you. Having my family go through the devastation of a hurricane I know how hard things can be. But we humans are wonderfully resilient. Life goes on, as your photo attests. We rebuild even though we know a hurricane (or flood or earthquake) could come again. We rebuild, we keep living. If there is a plan, for me that's it.

  24. Tabitha, you have captured a beautiful and emotional moment. The person who is fishing is trying to find the calmness in the disturbing water.
    I hope things become steady soon.

  25. I'm so sorry for your loss. I was in Mexico last week and am embarrassed to say I didn't even learn about the terrible floods in Australia until days after they happened.

    Oddly, my thought in reading your post and in watching the news of strange weather worldwide is that this may be part of the plan to convince most of the world that we need to acknowledge climate change. Then we're more likely to collaborate globally and shift how we look at our world, so we're motivated to make alterations in how we live so we can turn it around.

  26. Oh, I miss summer!

    I definitely believe there's a plan... I just don't always see it until after the fact!

  27. sorry for you loss.
    There are so many stories being written right now... courage, strength and support

  28. Yeah, I def. think things are going on that are bigger than what I can see. I'm so sorry about you and your friend's business though. :-( I'm glad you're all safe!

  29. That photo is gorgeous. I think your right and the hope is in the knowledge that there is a plan. I'm so glad you and your family are alright. Take care and be safe.

  30. I think more than anything its telling that you snapped a picture of this man fishing even when you were in one of your lowest moments, or at the very least one of a total lack of control. The photo is beautiful, something I though the moment I saw it even before reading your story.

    It is good to hear that you and your family are safe. Stuff is just stuff and can usually be replaced but the people, that is where the true beauty lies.

    A plan? As in a destiny, fate, something like that? I waver on that thought. Today I'm of the belief that there are many predetermined things but that we make our own destiny from Mad Libs :-)

  31. I think it's when our plans go awry that we're willing to trust in the larger plan, right? And as long as your plan includes sharing your brilliant writing and stories with us, you'll be fine. :-)

    I'm sorry about your financial loss - look forward to hearing how God fills that space for you.

    Amazing picture. Framable.

  32. No apologies are necessary. Goodness you've had a lot going on! I'm thankful you and your family are well though I am very sorry for you loss with your business.

    This post is so encouraging. Really. "There is always a plan". I always take a gold nugget away with me from my visits here. That's the one I'm taking now. I'm posting it on my wall. I need that reminder now. Thank you.

    Prayers and best wishes,

  33. Hi Tab,
    Sorry to hear about your business losses.
    But glad to hear your positive attitude has given you Hope.
    I'm amazed by the following you have. Congratulations on all your successes ...
    Karen :))

  34. Good heavens. I didn't realize you were so close to the flooding! Glad to hear you and your family are fine, but I'm so sorry about the loss of your exhibits. Hang in there!

  35. I came to your blog after reading your terrific poem on Rose and the Thorn online journal. I loved the poem and am so happy I found your site. So sorry about the flooding and your loss. My hometown flooded terribly in the early 90's and I saw the devastation that cannot be explained unless seen with your own eyes.
    The photo, the post and the idea of a plan that is bigger than us -- all this I needed to read tonight as I am suffering my own loss and today was hard. I'll visit here again.

  36. Thank you to everyone ho came by to comment. I have visited most blogs. If I missed you I am now on my way to rectify that :) I appreciate the comments here, especially those who have come by from Rose and Thorn literary journal where my poem was published. It's amazing that the poem created the response it did. I am humbled :) Thank you all. That my words should mean anything to anyone is a blessing to me.

  37. Things always have a way of working out and I wish you all the best. I like that saying and it's a philosophy that I believe in--it only makes logical sense.

    Tossing It Out

  38. Two thoughts here. First let me say how desperatly sorry I am for you and your family's business. In the face of such loss, the question is there a plan always comes up. It did with us when my husband lost his job three and a half years ago. Still no work here in Florida, running low on funds and wonderig if I will lose my home. But like you said, we have to trust there is a plan even when we can't see it.
    Your post ministered to me today and I hope writing it did you as well. Blessings!