“All of a Sudden”…Life Becomes a Beautiful Mess

Dear Reader:

Can’t we all remember the moment, in our lives, when we realized that we couldn’t control what happened in it…and even if we could…should we?

I don’t know about you…but has life suddenly started feeling like a board game gone awry? Some days when I hear another bad news story in the media…I feel like I am continuously stuck on two of the four corner squares in Monopoly- Jail and Go to Jail. And then if I am not stuck in jail I am pulling the “bad” Chance and Community chest cards.

Even Mother Nature is sending us a “gift” that initially sounded good according to our local weather persons…but is increasingly sending off alarms now. I am referring to the “Godzilla” dust storm heading our way from West Africa…another natural occurrence that is bringing mixed blessings.

One of our local weather girls, smiling brightly, said that the dust storm, that usually occurs in June, will protect low country residents from early hurricanes forming….

“Though the Saharan clouds may look disastrous, they suppress hurricanes in several ways. The dry, dusty storms soak up moist, hurricane-friendly air like a sponge and can create sinking air and changing winds that tear apart baby hurricanes before they get big.” 

That all sounded good to me…since June 1 is the official start of hurricane season for the low country and we literally have to sweat this natural “game of chance” out every summer and early fall.

So I stayed pleased for about two days until a national report on the storm shared some not-so-good information about this year’s particularly massive dust storm.

“Humans, however, do not thrive in enormous dust plumes. To anyone living in its direct path, the dust cloud poses a significant hazard to public health.

In one sense, there’s never been a better time to ask people to wear a mask—everyone has one. But there’s also never been a worse time to be surrounded by a miasma of particulate pollution that could trigger preexisting or new respiratory conditions.

People living in areas with high levels of air pollution are more likely to die of COVID-19. An over-taxed health care system might collapse under another large scale emergency public crisis. “

Mixed blessings…but then isn’t life the same way? And doesn’t it always come down to the way we react to crises…not just the crises themselves?

Don’t we love getting to the phrase in a story that reads “All of a sudden”… because we know something exciting or challenging is about to transpire…and suddenly life is magnified with more color to our eyes?

The following saying sums it up quite well!

I discovered this while in the garden yesterday. My automatic sprinkler system goes off every morning from 7- 7:45 so I always wait until around 8 to walk through it. (I don’t have to worry about the “dew still being on the roses” because all the flowers are dripping droplets of water from the sprinkler and smiling up at me with a big grin of contentment.)

I also cherish this time because it is when the garden starts out swathed in shadows…but by 8:30 the sun is filtering through the trees and the contrast between light and shadows thrills me every time I experience it throughout the garden. See for yourself-Come walk with me! 🙂

So until tomorrow….”In the noisy confusion of life…keep peace with your soul.”


My brother, Ben, stopped by for a few minutes before heading back to Conway…he was visiting his son and family in Charleston, and his daughter and granddaughter in Summerville…yesterday was moving day for them…a new apartment. I told him he had a matching mask with his outfit. 🙂 Quite debonair old boy!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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