In Shreveport, it started off with a collection of rain drops. They took the opportunity to brave the cooling breath of the skies for a chance to taste the ground. Some of them managed to lick rooftops, light poles, and the hoods of cars; relaxing liquid bodies into the cracks of the earth. But others, others were not so lucky. For the clouds let loose its storage place of wind and paralyzed their bodies midair. They had not the privilege of melting before their frozen futures hit the ground, many of them solidifying into ice cycles and poor trees. You have been suckered into shedding your skin again in the beloved south. Not moments after you begin to bud, the once soft petal of flower must choose not to photosynthesize, but to hibernate more inside that place where flowers go when they do not yet exist.
But what of all of this?
While I do not enjoy the cold (at all) it is a great time to read. And after the glaring sun the crisp bite to the air is refreshing. It is the time to find a good book. To lock yourselves into your dwellings. To warm a pot of tea, hot chocolate or coffee. To curl your legs into yourself and bury both your body and mind into the warm and compassionate world of words.
The clouds outshine the sun today. They have somehow managed to rise from their floating thrones and to share their crown with us. There’s a splash of brightness in the air, but I am convinced it is not the sun; it is the clouds. And as the day looms with the kind of gloominess that gives off fatigue, I cannot help but wonder how many of us search ourselves in the shadows. In places where we are left with the ambiguity of image, and grow like a silhouette of flesh. Sometimes writing is gloomy like these clouds, light enough to swing suspended in the air but with rain drops too heavy to see. Illuminated, and yet barely understood. But the clouds outshine the sun today and inspiring writers have managed to reach the ground and nourish souls with their words. Writers, who emerge from behind obscurities like clouds, have come down from heaven to purify the air and make footstools of the soil, that their readers may eat.
the old man is snoring
he went to bed
and bumped his head
and couldn’t get up in the morning..”
Who remembers this rhyme? For those of you who know this blog by now, you know I love the rain and guess what? It’s raining!
What I love about the rain is how it slows everything down. We live in an age where everything is rushed. Instant gratification has us pulling our hair out because the Internet’s not fast enough, traffic is not moving quickly enough, and if there’s an idea suddenly Writer’s Block sneaks in because the words don’t come fast enough. Everything has got to be at our fingertips or we’ll lose our minds. And then there’s the rain, which tends to put us in a relaxing mood. Some people are like the old man, and get sleepy during the rain because it’s relaxing. Its a great time to read and to reflex and to do some handwriting or some soul searching. It’s a good time to sit back and be still. I like to look at the rain as a time not to move. A time for simplicity. The rain, as a time for clarity.
I picked up your scent going out the door this morning. I should have known that the impulse of a summer dress, short sleeved and cool, and the sliding of my foot into sneakers meant you were not far away. Instead, I would let my sweater drape over my arm and sniff the moisture you left hanging in the air. It wasn’t very bright out, but budding flowers and children laughing was enough. Did not need to see the sun lean its body dramatically over the clouds to feel the heat of spring on my skin. Bright colored birds sang a joyful tune on into the sky, and the curtains moved against the window sill just as seductively as the tree branches swayed leaves to and fro. And as my husband presents me with a pot of African violet, with petals all soft and blooming, and my neighbors resurrect house chairs for a spot on the porch, I know that spring has arrived. Welcome.
One minute its warm and then the temperature takes a bow. He’s too clever to crouch, for then I will notice him. So yes, a bow will do. Just enough to add to the confusion of the weather. But today. Oh no today I’m on to him. It’s so very nice outside. Plus, I have seen splashes of yellows and trees budding reds. I have felt the gentle brush of warm air crawl upon my skin. I have watched the sun hopscotch with children and then hide behind the clouds again. I have seen the shelves of stores dressed in organic soil and flower pots. I awake to the kiss of sunlight nibbling at my face, though by the time I make it to the window you vanish before I could let you in. I approach the patio to get a taste of a calming breeze, then shutter at the sight of goosebumps on my skin. My short sleeves and dresses lay intermingled with my sweaters and jeans, poor things. They are confused in this maze of a world, this puzzle of a decision. My blinds are open again, trying to catch up with you. I’m sure the twinkle of the stars is really laughter. I think I even saw them slap high fives with the moon, for I am the peeping tom of the sky. Over here playing hide and seek with spring.
The invisible force waiting until we want to write before blessing us with its presence; it moves gracefully throughout the smoke filled rooms of trial, tribulation and circumstance. In its left hand is a sickle of distraction, have you come forth to reap what had not yet been sown? In its right are the sketchy blackboards of daily events that only wish to distract away the concept of creativity. The unmovable rock falling from the sky like hailstones is writer’s block. It pops up unannounced and hides itself underneath our fingernails. Its motivation triggered only by greed; the satisfaction of witnessing the wavering minds too off guard not to let it in. I am determined, however, that the weathering of my mind and the inspiration of my thoughts will not give in to the falling bricks of mortar coming my way. I will gather the scraps of words lingering in the corners of unmarked territory, move against the stillness of idle hands and write about the sound of this here concrete tapping against my frontal lobe. I will see the weather changing and prepare myself against the storm.
No, this is not symbolism; I’m actually really talking about rain here. We’re always taught, directly or indirectly, to regret the rain. To mentally throw our fist into the air and shout invisible slurs into the ears of angels; to curse the very nutrients coming down from the heavens. I may be one of the few people to actually like the rain. There is something very calming about the atmosphere when fresh rain is poured onto the ground, very soothing. Whether you’re cuddling with a spouse, enjoying a warm cup of coffee / tea, or reading a good book, you can always depend on the rain to inspire much needed meditation. Not that it’s raining now though, it’s actually nice and warm out here in Shreveport. So your probably wondering why I’d even bring up rain, just call it a random thought.
Here are some benefits of rain for the next time you find yourself wallowing in self-pity and regret because it rained on your parade—literally.
1) It puts moisture in the air
2) It helps with droughts
3) It fills streams
4) It washes away dirt from plants
5) It provides a drink for every living thing
6) It cools the temperature if it’s hot
7) It washes cars for free
8) It continues with the beneficial water cycle
9) It aids the poor in collecting water
10) It saves money from buying bottled water
11) It causes a rainbow to show up
12) It cleans roads with oil marks
13) It assists worms to move around the soil which aerates the ground
14) It can erode soil to form mountains
15) It can make certain insects and animals come out of hiding, like a snail which provides food for birds