Sunday, June 19, 2011

Companionship Of The Rain

I love the rain.  I have loved it starting as an infant and so throughout my life.  As I sit on my front porch and watch the dark clouds of another summer afternoon rain drift in slowly over the mountains, I am reminded yet again of the depth of that very personal connection.

Over the centuries, the sun has been a primary object of worship and respect by myriad cultures.  Given the power of the sun, its primary position in the orbits of our solar system, and its light that allows us to see and grow, perhaps that attention is appropriate.  But as warm as its rays are to our physical body, the sun is emotionally quite cold – notwithstanding the quiet, gradual calling of a new day at sunrise, or the spectacular blast of brilliant colors across the sky at sunset.  Conversely, as cool as the rain is to our physical body, it gives us a unique warmth to our emotional being, wrapping itself around us in a protective and reassuring womb.  The sun and the rain are fully unified in their own uniqueness, but each interacts with us in its separateness.

The rain distinctly changes with each season in very noticeable ways.  It has a smell unto itself, which differs from season to season if not from rainfall to rainfall.  You cannot hold the rays of the sun in your hand, but raindrops are visible to the eye and tangible to the touch.  And the rain usually comes with friends: the wind, which may present itself in many different forms and personalities; the thunder, announcing itself with an undeniable presence; the lightning, whose great electrical charge manifested across the sky affirms the awesome power of Nature within the Universe.

A rainfall may be quiet, falling benignly on grounds and roofs.  It may be boisterous, hurling itself almost sideways into nooks and crevices once thought tight and secure.  The rain may be here for only an instant, as a sprinkle or a downpour.  Or it may be a long, uninterrupted affair, soaking deeply into the ground for the ultimate nourishment of all, concurrently inviting us to an afternoon on the couch with a friendly book we have been waiting to read or a late-morning extended sleep.  Taken to excess, the rain can become a destructive force to beings and objects in its path.  But that is often because we have tried to build and live foolishly obliviously to the reality of rain’s potential.

The rain illustrates the completeness of the cycle of creation.  It falls, it is accumulated and/or absorbed, it nourishes, it returns to the sky, ready to begin its cycle anew.  Just as our lives begin, mature, are spiritually nourished, and then end and return to the Source.  When the rain comes, so also comes the reminder of God’s existence in all things.  Some days it is the quiet, protective warmth of God.  Other times, it is the reminder of the strength and power of God made abundantly clear.

Each of us needs to find that individual reminder of life’s greater Source.  In the listening to and watching of the rain, we are reminded that we are not alone.  We exist within a context larger than ourselves, a context that surrounds us, envelops us in its presence.  And when we are apt to forget our connection to the many and the greater, the rain comes again.  Just to remind us. To remind us that God’s love continually falls all around and on us every moment.  It is as visible as the rain, if we just open ourselves to see and feel it.