Listen. It’s raining. It hasn’t rained for more than a few minutes in weeks.
In fact, it hasn’t rained steadily for months, but at least there have been no forest fires. The sound is beautiful. Too often, the rain comes like a storm, harsh, or like a shadow, here then gone. But not this, now. Like the sound of crickets and cicadas, it is absorbing and surprisingly comforting.
Even the muted light is soothing today.
I notice the fallen leaves, yellow, burnt orange, a bit of startling red. The leaves almost cover the grass which looks deep green, like it’s eagerly drinking the rain. The earth is thirsty.
I close my eyes and just listen. The sound gets more distinct. There are currents in the rain. The pace of falling water speeds up, striking the gutters, trees, creating a wind of rainwater pushing against my body even though I am in my house. Then it softens, slows to barely a whisper. There is an occasional bird call. What before seemed steady and continuous is now revealed as something else, something unique. When I simply listen, there is more to hear.
We were driving into town 2 days ago. From the opposite side of the road, just before the farm stand where we often buy corn, an eagle rose out of the tall grass. It majestically and ever so slowly took flight right in front of a dark van. Its wingspan was wider than the van, yet somehow the eagle wasn’t hit. It flew off right in front of my car window, unhurt. But the driver of the van pulled off the road and stopped.
We can easily assume so much. That one moment will be like the previous one. We walk out of the memory of yesterday’s door and drive on our memory of yesterday’s road. We need some reassurance that our world won’t totally flip over on us. But we must pay enough attention so we’re not shocked when today almost slams into the windshield of our car.
The rain, so many drops of water, hit the roof, shake the apple, oak, Japanese Maple, and cherry trees, yellow and red leaves fall onto the green grass. It’s hard to realize the rain itself is threatened, that because of our actions or inaction such a natural and steady rain has become a rarity.
So, after letting my mind get washed clear by simply listening to the sound, I start to write letters and postcards to get out the vote. I make phone calls to Congress and speak with the power of the rain and for preserving the majesty of an eagle taking flight.