Rainy days, the good kind.
There are so many different kinds of rainy days. As I gaze out the window now into the dusk light, the sky is mostly a dark gray, covered by rain clouds, yet breaks in those clouds reveal the blue of fading light. There is an emotional impact I feel in my chest in response to that. The earth under the clouds is nearly black, yet the sky beyond still holds some luminosity to it, all contrasted by the flat gray and dim canopy.
I turn my head and look beyond, there in the valley below is the river of light that is rush hour traffic on the eight freeway. I pray for the well-being and happiness of all of those souls, at the same time I know statistically that this glittering river, so beautiful to me, is made up of much suffering. Kind of like looking out on the whole world really. 🙂
Kinds of rainy days, that was the subject I was approaching however. The porch was dry when I woke, but wet as I made my way down the hall this morning shortly before 9 AM. My least favorite kind of rainy day are those that never really commit to the precipitation and only just spit a little here and there, remaining gray and cold and a little wet, but generally uninteresting. Today threatened at times to be that kind of day.
Today threatened, but really was just teasing.
I spent the day at my desk, first pouring over the weekly review process that is the ritual beginning to each of my Sunday mornings. I then turned to reading the accumulated articles and newsletters from the week before – this often leads to sharing little clips and articles with others by email or text, which is a nice transition into the next ritual part of Sunday mornings, catching up on my more personal, reflective, or more lengthy correspondence, again from the week’s accumulation.
I kept glancing up and out the window to find a nice washing back and forth between clear and clean air, and good rains; not the hard pounding rains, nor those that simply spit, but good steady fall, sincere in its wetting of the ground and menace to pedestrians. Each time I thought the clear air meant an end to the rains, the day giggled and wet some more.
This kind of attitude is very nurturing and generous for me and stimulated and supported a nice creative flow. The correspondence portion of my day, not surprisingly, ran long through nearly 40 messages…
While most of that had to do with ongoing conversations, a couple of them struck some more long-lived cords dating back two to four decades and I want to give them just a moment of dwell here.
The first was from an old and dear friend Erika who moved from San Diego many years ago to a coastal Canadian island in the Pacific and has been radiating earth beauty from there ever since. She radiates quietly, and you have to know where to look to see it, but it’s definitely a special expression and will touch your heart if you let it. Aside from the touching note which I had the pleasure to read and to which to reply, I spent some time taking in her latest works of art in fiber from her website. It struck me how appropriate this work was for healing spaces and I shared the link with a handful of friends with wellness centers.
While the photos she shared that she and her smiling husband and their old and loving dog standing in the sunshine, backed by the thick green foliage of coastal rain forests, certainly lit an illuminating note in my heart, the real breaking stroke was the elegant simplicity of her latest endeavor, to simply share a love of bread and baking with others, in just the way that is unique and beautiful to her.
That kind of made my day all by itself and I left the webpage open to be sure I would remember to link it here this evening.
The other long thread through time was another sweet shot of energy from a woman I grew up around. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her, but I always knew her to be a special and mystical being and counted her, without having the terms, as one of my spiritual aunts as a child. I had thought of her and mentioned her in my journal the other day and as a matter of courtesy and love had shared the entry with her, opening a brief email exchange.
In reply to my shared post, she had written back a short note from her current six-month international tour. My message had found her on the train from Paris to Belgium, and the romantic quality of that tickled my soul from my toes my heart. One of the strongest memories I have of Brooke is a time when we were driving up the road one winter morning to go skiing for the day. It was just she and I and my father in the car that day, his big old early 70s Oldsmobile rearwheel drive squirreling around as we made our way up the icy road.
I was in the backseat and it was a pleasant enough day, not stormy or ominous, but there was the certain sensitivity that we could easily end up in the ditch that day; the roads were really glassy and our little piece of Detroit muscle was made much more readily for concrete and straight lines, then for winding and soft mountain roads. The atmosphere in the car was light and cheerful, but there was a definite edge as my dad kept having to wrestle just a little bit to keep us on the straight and narrow.
I remember at one point, Brooke muttering a little chant under her breath, gesturing a little with her fingers, casting some spell, I was sure, over our situation. As soon as she finished, I could feel the rear tires of the car instantly cease their misbehaving, grab the road and drive us faithfully without another hint of distress the remaining few miles to the parking lot and the glorious day of sport beyond.
It’s been many years since then, and perhaps only once in between that I’ve been able to enjoy Brooke in person, but she has never left my heart or my side in spirit, and today’s connection was just a little returning to that sweet spring of spiritual care. I spent probably half an hour wandering through her website, catching up on little bits of this and that. Most sweetly, she has recordings of her chants and prayers which I could play to enjoy the sound of her voice and the harmony of her message.
Bringing correspondence to a close I turned my attention to the prospect of opening a Patreon.com account as a part of my new practice of generosity paired with reciprocity. I’ve been dabbling with the platform a bit recently, and finally found a pathway in where I felt I could understand the intent and process of leveraging the tool most effectively. 90 minutes quickly became 2 1/2 hours of drinking in guiding articles while jumping back and forth into creating the written materials and other creative artifacts that they inspired.
I’m just going to tease that here right now, except to say that the work today brought me back, through the keyhole of the Wealth of Being project, along the thread to the late 90s and early 2000’s and the origin of my inspirations on the subject of Life as Art. I feel firmly reconnected to that foundation and excited to carry it forward in coming days and weeks and years.
There are many kinds of rainy days, today was the good kind.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…