Beginner's Heart

via google

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We’ve had 7 inches of rain this past week. Other parts of Oklahoma have had a foot or more. When I went to the Farmer’s Market this week, the radishes looked more like scarlet beets, they were so huge!

The fragrance of rain hitting dirt has a name: petrichor. I remember when I learned that word — it resonated like some kind of bell inside me. I adore rain, in all its guises (well, not the killer tornado so much…). Spring sprinkles, gentle drenchings, howling storms, and the crashing percussive music of thunder. Not to mention the fireworks of lightening!

That makes me an utter pluviophile — a lover of rain & all things rainy. I even have a bright orange rain jacket! AND an umbrella, so that I can walk merrily through puddles.

One of my happiest memories is walking w/ my two sons — who must have been about 9 and 5 — through a storm, holding our umbrellas against the Oklahoma winds, to the hamburger joint around the corner from us. It doesn’t matter that they probably don’t remember; I do. We kicked puddles, and ended up happily soaked, just in time to enter the warm dining room.

Dale Chihuly's glass sculpture,

Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture,

When I think of the drought-stricken western US, I’m beyond sad. Yes, drought kills crops. And animals. And leaves forest fires in its wake. But there’s a less-discussed benefit to rain: it cleanses and heals. The allergens are washed out of the air, and my beloved’s headache has disappeared. The birds practically fluoresce: scarlet cardinals, blueblack crows, the red crowns of finches and the brilliant blue of jays. The grass thickens and seems to stretch in happy health. Me too.

Beginner’s heart needs rain, I think. We need to return to our true colours — like the Tibetan story of the lama who held the pebble in the water, demonstrating how the dull rock gleamed with unnamed colours beneath the water’s surface. Just beneath our surface, if we can find a way to wash away the everyday junk that dull us, is who we really are. I like to think I’m the colours of a Chihuly glass sculpture — flame & glitter & indigo green. It just takes a good rain to remind me.

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