Sunday, September 07, 2008


I wrote the following several weeks ago, as I lay in my bed late one night, listening to the rain. Times have been up and down lately for me. I guess that could probably be said for most everyone, most of the time. Still, it's comforting to remember that some things in this life are constant. Amid all this madness, we all need to find our safe haven... like rain on a summer night.

The rain is sort of peaceful and lonely tonight. Peaceful, because it is steady and soft and life-giving. Lonely, I think, because it haunts me--because it brings to mind traces of other days, days that were happier, more carefree... and some days that were uneventful or lonesome or painful. Other days. Days which are not this day. Days which are not this day are days that are already behind me, or else they are days which have yet to unfold beneath my feet. One way or another, I am not in the midst of living them and suffering them today.

But the rain also tells me that I am strong. Because the rain comes and goes... and to experience anything coming and going as the rain comes and goes, one must be alive for a span of time. To be old enough to recollect many of those comings and goings means that one must have been alive long enough to grow that old. One must have opened one's eyes to many, many new days. And to continue day after day to open one's eyes and blink into the harsh, punishing daylight, to stumble through each hour perhaps without direction, perhaps even wondering if all paths do not lead to nowhere--to survive this means surely that one is equipped to survive. Though one may feel insignificant, ill, the weakest being on earth, one may and ought to take solace in the mere condition of continuing to live, because it means that one is inherently strong enough to live. None of us are very strong, it is true... but neither is any of us condemned to be prohibitively weak. All humanity is strong enough, barring physical disease or deformity or deprivation, to get up out of the bed another day and move and breathe within the circles of fire and earth and life. We are created with the mechanism to stand and bear living's pain and oppression--not always with dignity, but to bear it nonetheless... to continue to draw breath though it crushes our chest and rips through us like a thin red flame, to cry out for help even when our throat is cracked and raw from the heaving, choking sobs that we have cried in our loneliness and fear... and to lie down to sleep at night in anticipation or dread of what tomorrow's sunlight will illuminate before us and within us. That is real strength. That is the unfettered and untainted beauty of the human spirit.

When the rain comes, it washes everything and sets all it touches back upon the road to health and growth. It soothes a feverish earth and brings comfort to a troubled spirit. Tonight it works these effects in my own heart. And even now, as my eyelids droop and my consciousness rolls in and out like the ocean tide, I know that I will wake up in the morning and have the wherewithal to exist tomorrow--and exist well. Exist as I am meant to.

Sometimes every spirit needs to feel the rainstorm.

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