I was contemplating just this morning coming back to this blog after a year hiatus. The question I had wasn’t as much what to write about (life contains no shortage of compelling content), as it was how to write about it.
Perhaps it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed, even silenced by the enormity of our predicament. During a period of pandemic, of escalating climate-based fires, floods and extinctions, of savage divisiveness between and within every political camp, what tone or angle can one take that does not risk turning platitude or becoming a positivity bypass?
Nature often provides a source of wisdom and did so again today, in the form of a metaphor that spontaneously came up during a conversation with a client. In the midst of discussing the many sobering challenges that tend to come later in life – loss of physical abilities, cherished roles, loved ones – she mentioned the rain that fell the previous night. The surprising shower interrupted months of dry heat, smoky air, a California fire season that’s predicted to last through December.
She lit up when speaking about the lovely sound of the rain, the reprieve it offered the desiccated landscape. We celebrated the fact that lightening did not come as predicted and no more fires had been ignited by the weather. The brief shower was a pocket of grace, a welcomed gift bestowed by the sky for no apparent reason. I wondered about other pockets of grace we encounter, how they matter even though they can be so easily overshadowed by threats that loom large and imminent.
One part rain to a hundred parts fire may not seem like much to luxuriate in. But it can remind us of what water tastes like, how it feels, how we can dip a toe in gratitude, if we choose to. It can remind us of what continues to be sacred in our lives. If nothing else, a cup of water will help keep my struggling, drought-resistant garden alive.