The Rain as a Spiritual PathBy
The rain is pouring, and I have all the windows open in my 2nd floor studio above a garage – so that I feel it from 3 sides. Not as “sense-surround” as camping, but pretty darned cool. It’s night and the sound fills the space – and also creates a privacy – there is just this space – in the rain.
Huge, beautiful, old trees are outside my windows to the south so I hear the rain hitting the leaves, and the leaves flapping in the wind, receiving and sometimes flinging big wet drops. And to the West I have a view across slanted rooftops which supply the perfect percussive effect in the downpour. The sounds created by every surge of rain are exciting and comforting at the same time. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to snuggle in and enjoy. So I am doing that.
When it starts to get quieter, I find myself getting even more still, almost suspending breath as a preparation for a dive to the breathless Source. But it doesn’t ever totally end, the rain is just taking a break (or giving us one) for a moment – slowing down into an almost slow motion where the space between drops reminds you of the space that is always available between the solid experiences of our lives – but then this moving moisture draws you back into what it is in this moment. Presence is calling – creating an “almost pause” – giving you a moment to tune in, breathe, and appreciate.
And since today is Sunday, there is none of the usual buzz at this time – so the combination of rain and no one around creates extra silence between the drops. It’s almost unnatural or certainly unusual – which makes it so totally cool.
The impulse to suspend breathing is natural – you want all of your body awareness to soak this up – that silence between the soothing and sometimes dramatic rain. Yes, we had some lighting and loud cracks of thunder (that would normally have sent my adorable, 14-year old ball-of-fluff into a panic, but since he lost his hearing, he’s so oblivious to the sounds that terrorized him and instead is relaxed and happy – a lovely companion in my cuddle-fest. And, of course, it makes me look forward to aging which takes away the senses that cause stress – somehow it seems right. Nature’s grace & kindness.)
Ah, must pause to soak in another swelling wave of harder rain. I pick up my 8 lb friend and, wrapped in an ultra-soft fluffy blanket, I open the door and we stand on my porch, a wall of rain slamming down 2 ft in front of us and beside us. I can feel the wind created as the drops displace cool air.
We breath in the cold, clean air – as rain does purify the air and well, we’ve needed rain so there is also the blessing to Mother Earth. (I spent more than a little time in sweatlodges where we prayed for rain, so this would be considered an answer to those prayers and, in keeping with the Red Road tradition, I should undoubtedly throw some tobacco on the ground in gratitude. I do adore that gesture for gratitude. Sure beats a hallmark card. It’s nice to move the body to convey an intention – or especially appreciation.)
I’ve been absorbed in the rain since before the sun set, and yes, the sunset added a lovely visual element – rainy but clear & colorful sunset. I was under dark clouds pouring rain but over by the ocean the sky was open and the bright reds & oranges cut through the grey, cold wetness – casting this warm glow on it all – the best of both worlds creating a new blend. ‘Twas unique.
I have no music – just the sound of the rain, coming down in waves from wild-torrential to flirting with cessation amist a continuously swelling and subsiding flow. Kinda how I’ve described spiritual experience before. So I’m going with the free ride. (And having the softest, cutest puppy in the world who wants to cuddle on a big pile of pillows, makes all my internet work for the evening feel like a gift to get to do from my iPad wrapped in this auditory blanket of strong, pure vibration – and, of course, I pause many times to drop into a mindful union with this sound/feel-fest and at moments I disappear and there is just rain.)
And here I was thinking I really needed a break.
My practice seems to be recognizing the breaks that are presented.
I’ll get back to you on that, for now I’m returning to the rain – to have a complete experience.