- By Mila Nataliya A. Govorukha

I didn’t like my mood. It wasn’t exactly cold—more like chilly with a chance of thundersto­rms. Exactly like the weather that day. I knew why I was feeling that way, and it scared me. Changes were in the air, looming over me like ominous clouds. I also knew that there was hope for my situation, like I knew the sun was somewhere up there, but not being able to connect with it was unsettling.

The smell of impending rain enveloped me. I sat by a haystack at the top of a small hill, an apple orchard to my right, bushes downhill, and a little flock of sheep grazing in the clearing to my left. High above, a few needlelike rays of sunshine pierced the pewter clouds. The mountains in the distance were a palette of muted colors in the gathering gloom—greens, grays, blues, purples. Between them and me, a light rain hung like a filmy curtain. I had to admit that even without the sun and the usual bright colors, the view was beautiful.

Exactly like today, I thought. Like this week, like the last months. So much uncertaint­y, like these clouds hanging over me. So many challenges, like these mountains before me. But there is still beauty to be found, even in these trying circumstan­ces.

Just then the clouds passed, the sun came out, and it suddenly became warmer. A tiny lilac butterfly alighted on my shoe, and a woodpecker tapped out his message in Morse code—“God is love.”1 Hope had shown her face, and she was beautiful!

Mila Nataliya A. Govorukha is a youth counselor and volunteer in Ukraine. ■

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1. 1 John 4:8

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