The rain is coming down in sheets. It is pounding on the street, creating rivers in the gutters and washing away the grime of the summer. We open up all of the windows and breathe deeply of the fresh wet air. The lawn is thirsty, the world is thirsty.
I’ve been in pain for more than a month now. Healing is slow going, they tell me it will be three to six months before I’m fully pain-free again. My back is a bit of a mess but it will be able to heal eventually. For this, I’m thankful. I know so many have chronic unanswerable pain for years: my prayers are with them often now. I take a lot of painkillers to get through the days of parenting and work and life that still demand my presence. I’m being careful, I’m staying inside a lot. Sometimes we inch towards our healings.
The rain is thick around our house and the sky is darkening. Against all the orders of my doctor and my mother, I pick up our toddler anyway and open the back door. The big kids are all already outside standing in the crisp grass, their faces tipped to the sky, their mouths wide open, their eyes screwed shut. I keep the baby with us, standing under the roof’s edge just out of the deluge. I stretch out my left arm, the one that is always in pain or numb as a result of the injury, and here comes the rain to me.
The water beads along the inside of my forearm, along my wrist, I have a shallow pond in the palm of my hand within seconds. I shake the water free and grasp the baby’s hand, holding her palm out to the rain.
“Do you feel that?” I say to her, “it’s water, it’s rain.” She holds out her dimpled hand and her eyes are wide in wonder. The water is cold and clear against our skin. We stand there in the darkness and the storm, holding our hands out to receive a baptism of introduction together.
She hasn’t ever done this before, you know, she hasn’t ever stood in a rain storm and held out her arms to receive the gift. We stand together and I am so glad I was here for this moment, the one where she felt the rain on her skin for the first time and she didn’t run and hide from it, she didn’t duck away, she held out her hand and she looked her mother in the face and knew it was good.
Now, later, the clouds are breaking up to the west of the house even as the rain remains. Right in the darkness, the sunlight reaches us and the trees hold up their hands to receive light and water together. We call the tinies into the house, hang up wet clothes, change everyone into warm pajamas. We bath the baby and tuck her into bed. I take my pills and do my stretches. I feel like I participated in Creation tonight.
I stand at the window looking out into the fading day – the light is dazzling through the rain and there are prisms falling to us now. The light has opened up the sky to us again, the rain is fading away, the clouds are indigo with their heaviness, the late evening sun has filled the house, my soul has had the windows washed.
image via lightstock