The Spring rains are upon us after a Winter that barely showed its face. I never thought I would find myself missing snow, but I did. Not the single solitary inch that disappears in a day or two. I missed the blowing, drifting, piling up snowflakes that make me happy to be indoors, warm by the fire and content to be still. The hypnotic rhythm of the wind and the view of the wild wilderness stirs me to write.
To be alone with my own thoughts.
So it is with the rain. A gentle shower, followed by a peek of sun, is a tease. I prefer the hard pelting of raindrops, starting slowly like a drippy faucet, then building into a crescendo of rushing torrents flailing against the side of the house. A flash of lightning and a rumble of thunder like a symphonic clash of cymbals and the beat of a drum. Rivulets of water rush past my adirondack chairs and there are moments when I can barely see the trees through the curtain of rain.
Errands can wait.
A good excuse.
A reason to be still.
To be alone with my thoughts.
How easy it is to become so self-centered that what we wish for, we assume everyone else will desire. Or to think that we can control the universe, one minute at a time. One drop of rain or a snowflake on our whim. Lost in our own perspective, and lost to the wants and needs of others.
What is my thunderstorm, may be someone else's flood. My wish for the rains to cease may clash with another's wish for the drought to end.
Everything we do, regardless of our own awareness,
affects the lives of others.
Years ago, I found a book. Dressed in a simple blue jacket, with a picture of a young girl, face framed by a straw hat, on its cover. The title of the book, Out of the Dust. The author, Karen Hesse.
The story setting is Oklahoma during the Great Depression,
amid the choking and desolate Dust Bowl years.
It is a moving and difficult read, but a tale of triumph of the human spirit.
I found it tucked away on my shelf here beside me,
as the rain rinsed the windows in my studio.
I was in a pacing mood today. Back and forth. Stopping and starting like a hiccup. Radio blaring. Finger tapping, knee bouncing ennui. I watched the sun go down and couldn't settle. So I sat on the floor to organize my book shelf and there was the little blue book. My bookmark, a postcard from London, tucked neatly inside.
"I miss you all".
A memory came back softly to greet me. A memory of a time before, when like tonight, I sat quietly with myself and wrote. I pulled out my portfolio book, and found what I had written, back when the longing to write, was simply a seed in the palm of my hand.
After no rain, the ground becomes hard,
The drought leaves no mark on the soil.
Clouds may gather and tiny drops fall.
The earth remains a skeptic
and the drops roll away.
Bringing no softening of the earth.
And if the rain should fall in heavy thunderous waves
The Soil, untrusting, may yet refuse to yield
Letting the moisture run in rivers
Only the steadiness of a soft continuous shower
Gently seeping into the parched cracks,
Will coax the earth to soften and let go
To allow the healing to begin,
So that once again seeds will sprout
And flowers will grow.
Only when the rain promises to return
Only then will the ground once again
Return the favor with softness underfoot
And the sight of new beginnings.
Till then whether drops or deluge
The landscape remains the same
And the dust continues to blow.
If left too long, memories die
Hardened by the waiting,
For the ground stood firm,
It was the rain that refused to come.
Please remember, as I've told you before...
And in the meantime, I have an umbrella you may borrow,
and I'd be glad to water your flowers when you're away.