Tag Archives: Rain

Element: Water

Kayden + Rain from Nicole Byon on Vimeo.

I think I’ve found a kindred spirit. There’s little that I like as much as to go outside and just “be” in a warm Summer rain. Sometimes, my fox and some of the birds come out too, but even all alone, I love to celebrate the rain. Now that I’m an old woman who doesn’t care what anyone thinks and who has her own, secluded backyard, I do it every chance that I get. It’s such an “ordinary miracle.”

California, sadly, has been experiencing a serious drought. Sylvia writes beautifully about some welcome rain:

I went walking in Point Reyes, along the Muddy Hollow trail, to visit with the red alders, and the new nettles—I had feared there would be none!—and a special grove of alders that grow close and pale, where the tule elk pass, rubbing their antlers on the bark, where the bobcat moves, out of sight of human trails, coming down from the scrubby hills where she hunts the voles, the gophers, the small birds, like this darling fox-sparrow above, of whom I’ve been seeing much recently—it is a subspecies known as the Sooty Fox Sparrow that winters in the Bay Area from farther north, and what a sweet gift it is to get to meet them! (For beautiful photos of this bird, see here. I can’t seem to quite get over the sweetness of those speckles.) Once, last winter, a wildlife camera (which I helped set up with Felidae and a tracking group called Catscapes, since we tracked bobcats and cougars) near this special grove of alders caught a shot of a lone mountain lion, passing gracefully at dawn. This is a special place, a place of old magic. When I visited it last, it was so brown and gray and dead I felt tight and a little sick in my stomach, a panic beginning to rise in the back of my throat at the hot sky, only blue, empty of clouds, desert dry. But after even two days of scattered rain—so little, in fact, that I heard people joking that the poor clouds were trying hard, but they’d quite forgotten what it meant, to rain— the land began to move, like my own spirit did, and throw its whole heart up toward that water.

You should go read the whole thing.

So there we are, at different times and in different places, but all engaged in the same act of worship, the same ritual of the Goddess — Kayden, Sylvia, and me. We shan’t be gone long, you come too.

The Ritual as I Wait for Rain

Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up. At this threshold a great complexity of emotion comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope. This is one of the reasons such vital crossings were always clothed in ritual. It is wise in your own life to be able to recognize and acknowledge the key thresholds: to take your time; to feel all the varieties of presence that accrue there; to listen inward with complete attention until you hear the inner voice calling you forward. The time has come to cross.

. . .

That we are here is a huge affirmation; somehow Life needed us and wanted us to be. To sense and trust this primeval acceptance can open a vast spring of trust within the heart. It can free us into a natural courage that casts out fear and opens up our lives to become voyages of discovery, creativity, and compassion. No threshold need be a threat, but rather an invitation and a promise. Whatever comes, the great sacrament of Life will remain faithful to us, blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace. We merely need to trust.

~John O’Donohue

Picture found here.

Monday Poetry Blogging

Beloved, Let Us Once More Praise The Rain

~Conrad Aiken

Beloved, let us once more praise the rain.
Let us discover some new alphabet,
For this, the often praised; and be ourselves,
The rain, the chickweed, and the burdock leaf,
The green-white privet flower, the spotted stone,
And all that welcomes the rain; the sparrow too,—;
Who watches with a hard eye from seclusion,
Beneath the elm-tree bough, till rain is done.
There is an oriole who, upside down,
Hangs at his nest, and flicks an orange wing,—;
Under a tree as dead and still as lead;
There is a single leaf, in all this heaven
Of leaves, which rain has loosened from its twig:
The stem breaks, and it falls, but it is caught
Upon a sister leaf, and thus she hangs;
There is an acorn cup, beside a mushroom
Which catches three drops from the stooping cloud.
The timid bee goes back to the hive; the fly
Under the broad leaf of the hollyhock
Perpends stupid with cold; the raindark snail
Surveys the wet world from a watery stone…
And still the syllables of water whisper:
The wheel of cloud whirs slowly: while we wait
In the dark room; and in your heart I find
One silver raindrop,—on a hawthorn leaf,—;
Orion in a cobweb, and the World.

Picture found here.