A Beautiful Storm (A Prose for Michael Ryan Black)

Once, only once was I able to meet him, I shook his hand and embraced him, only once. I knew him from a distance, I watched his life unfold from stories told. Friends of friends would share his life with me, and at times I would laugh; at times cry. A Beautiful Storm.

Scary at times, yet needed all the same. I could see his life like the gales across the wind swept plains, lightning strikes, peals of thunder. I didn’t know the history of this beautiful storm, I didn’t know it’s origin, I only knew that I was experiencing it now, it was upon me. A Beautiful Storm.

There were adventures, to be had; lives to be affected. Like the wind, we knew not where his life was leading, we just knew we could feel it across our cheeks like a breeze on a cool summer’s eve. It was refreshing, it made us smile, this passing breath. A Beautiful Storm.

Children giggle, parents breathe, siblings wonder, friends grieve. This Beautiful Storm is upon us now. Crashing, blitzing, pouring all around. There seems to be no end to his energy, there seems no end to it’s beauty. A Beautiful Storm.

We tried to control him, we tried to lasso his call. “Oh no”, he shouts. “This is why I was created!” This Beautiful Storm rages, it waters wherever he goes, he writes admiration on hearts of the toughest of men, and holds with tenderness the weakest of weak. A Beautiful Storm.

His fans are abounding, the young and old alike, they tell his stories, like “I remember when…” And reminisce about the times the storm affected them. He is bold like a lion, tender as a lamb, wise beyond his years, and a leader, yes this is A Beautiful Storm.

The time is passing, the stories and legends are growing, this young man, everyone knows, is destined for greatness. Just look in his eyes, there can be no doubt. The scholars shout and proclaim his future. A Beautiful Storm, does not hear. People wonder when it passes, they pray for it, as I have done, to let the storm subside. And as it does we all sigh and breathe and smile..there it goes, A Beautiful Storm.

I hold him for a brief moment one Easter morn. He had heard of me, and I of him. Our eyes meet for the first time. There was a loss for words in his, and only compassion in mine. The din around us seem to fade away, as I hoped upon hope that he would be ok. This Beautiful Storm was in my home now. How he got here I’ll never know. It must be the way the Wind was blowing that day.

I’ll never forget the look in his eyes. A story had been written, and was near its end. I didn’t know it at the time…but A Beautiful Storm was coming to a close. His clouds were clearing, the rain subsiding, the thunder and lightning now a distant memory. Peace, my friend, I can hear him say. My storm is over, the Sun is beaming in all His glory.


The clouds have cleared, the rain has ended, but look now on the horizon! Another is brewing, I can’t wait to see it soon, I know the effect it will have on generations, I should just let it pass through, but I can’t. I must chase this Beautiful Storm to see where it leads. There is adventure, a life fully alive to be lived, a story to be told!

A Beautiful Storm you were Michael Black….may we never forget the lives you’ve touched, the children you’ve held, the demons you’ve conquered, and the legacy you’ve given. You were a Beautiful Storm. You’re story continues, through parents, siblings and friends. As for me? I’ll never forget our one encounter, that Easter morning… See you soon…




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