Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


Fostering a Better View of Rain

posted by Cheryl Petersen

I was cleaning out my files and came across this article I wrote in 2009… it happened…I don’t mind the rain now!

……

Lying on the sofa, I could hear the gentle pitter-patter of rain drops on the roof of our house. The rainfall, naturally quenching the thirsty desert land on which we lived, was destroying our cherry crop. Too much water on the exterior of a ripe sweet cherry causes the fruit to take in the water, overdose, and split open, making it unmarketable. All the effort spent caring, sweating, and investing in a cherry crop, evaporates.

I refuse to believe agony and loss are a blessing, or a bane. Admittedly, this means I must not believe the profitable years on the orchard are a blessing, or a bane. It is impractical to get caught up in the cycle of a downpour, a soaking, dissipation, and an accumulation—only to start all over again.  I keep caring, sweating, and investing in worthwhile projects on this earth, however, with a constantly expanding perspective on life away from the cycle.

Ugh. This is not always easy to do. The wet soggy covering of resentment can be an obstacle to progress.

After that crop loss, it occurred to me as never before that I have family love to be thankful for. This appreciation allowed forward thought. My husband and I were happily married and our 2 young daughters were sweet as homemade cupcakes. In order to expand this view, I needed to share. So, we became licensed foster parents.

Fostering is not for everyone, however, the children who joined our family definitely contributed to a new, bigger perspective that pierced through the nonsense of blood defining family. Ironically, other children who were not in the foster care system, but who had harsh family situations, also stayed over. The orchard, on which we lived for 20 years, was a haven. We had no TV reception. But, children and teens appreciated the fresh fruit to pick and eat and preserve. They became partial to the chickens and horses we had on the farm. Eggs were collected and baked with. Horses were cared for and ridden. Grades in school perked up.

Oh, these experiences weren’t always trouble-free and transparent. But, understanding and answers came as I turned away from any melodrama and proceeded to think along a straight line of improved perspectives on life, love, and the truth about how we can change for the better.

My heart still tightens when I hear rain drops splashing on the windows, however, blessings are bigger than dreads. Family, related by love, and grown children visit us as grand reminders. They keep us up to date about their latest motorcycle stunt, college degree, or travels to Istanbul, Turkey. And, one day, I suspect the rain and I will see eye to eye with appreciation.



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