This is a story from about 2 years ago:
For the last 8 solid years I have had reason to not want to see it rain. The household income was dependent on the industry of hauling aggregate, and when they don’t pour concrete, they don’t need more material to make more concrete.. so work slowed down and even stopped at times. We grew to absolutely fear the rain. So unnatural too, as Native American people, and water is of the utmost importance for so many spiritual as well as natural and physical reasons. It twisted my life. In Southern California, we really always need it. When it was coming though… I dreaded it.
When that job was lost, it was devastating. Talk about fears. For weeks we slogged through the nightmare of trying to pay bills, and setting up assistance, and sorting out several career-affecting issues in the wake of it – false accusations. The weather was dry all that time. One night though.. when I was home alone, it started to rain. I heard it and stopped what I was doing, looking around in awe at what I was hearing. Then spontaneously, I dropped everything and ran out the front door and onto the front lawn in front of God and everyone and I stood there with my arms up to the sky just letting it fall on me (good thing I was dressed! haha). I had the instant realization that it did not matter one bit that it was raining. It wasn’t taking anything away from me, and it no longer could. I stood there for a long time, even though it was cold, crying in that downpour – because I was so happy – and laughing. I no longer fear the rain. I have not feared it even once since that day.
What I did not know.. across town the unemployed and disheartened individual, just walking out of a class apparently had the same experience. Someone asked him why he was standing in the rain and he told them, “because I’m not afraid of it anymore”. They of course thought it was crazy to be afraid of rain (as well as to be standing in it, laughing) and needed further explanation.
Perspectives are funny – tailored by our experiences, even on the littlest things that most people just take for granted. I don’t think anyone in my life has really understood what the last 8 years were like. As horrible as the whole event has been, it released him from a place that didn’t appreciate him as they should and didn’t treat him well enough for his devotion as a reliable, hard worker. It released both of us from a ridiculous fear. So I’m happy to see it raining today.. even though my arthritis isn’t.
The sky just opened up here and it started pouring, quite suddenly. I was in the middle of working on my hair, but I ran outside anyway. I had two reasons, the first of which you found above and the second being the rain barrel needed to be set in the right spot. I wasn’t expecting it, clearly. Unexpected blessings are the best kind. It sparks joy in our hearts in a unique way that nothing else can.
Perspective is everything, as I like to remind my friends. Often around this time of the year I begin to see posts online with complaints about the incoming weather. I understand some of it, because the seasonal shifts are hard on my health conditions as well. I know it will happen each year, however… and I know how much it is necessary for the health of the environment – of which we are a part. Just like any life circumstance, we have to take those weather changes for what they are and embrace their beauty and the life and growth they bring to us all. Even the so labeled “disasters” serve a greater purpose, and our panic and rage is usually based in having built homes in…. well, really bad places. Just a word to the wise, research before you buy, or even rent. Know the history of the land you’re planning to park yourself on, because I promise you there are more places that could offer an unpleasant surprise than not. This world is in constant motion and turmoil as a part of it’s natural cycling processes. Were it not, there would be no life. There you have it.
Life is motion and change. Life is a dance. So do we sit bitterly, and complain about the rain or do we gleefully run out into it to dance like a child, embracing the wonder? Metaphorically speaking, we encounter storms of all severities throughout our lives as well. We face the unexpected downpour, which can be seen as an inconvenience. We can feel apprehension or fear at the crashes of thunder, and the flashes of lightning. Our other choice is to immerse in the stunning beauty of it and see what may come of it later. Don’t be afraid to get drenched in life circumstances, because in the end they are all we are here for – those events, the joys, the surprises, the changes and challenges, the fears to overcome, the growth and the pain, and every opportunity that comes with each one, no matter what it seems that it is. If you garden, you understand that growth and production eventually leads to change and death, and you must start new each year after a thorough clean-up. In modern society we have been trained not to cycle our lives in those ways. In modern life we hold onto too much and our motion has been decreased to a standstill in most areas of our lives. Tribal societies understand this better than anyone, both in the past and today where our traditions have been preserved. We treat the creatures, the creations, and the events on our physical plane as a reflection of the things that take place in the spirit world as well. We celebrate them both by respecting and honoring Earth, all her inhabitants, and all of her many moods. We have ceremonies and beliefs that keep us mindful and in touch with everything.
Rain falls on us all, and in all our lives figuratively as well. You are given the opportunity to decide what it means to you. Will you fear and run for shelter? Will you rejoice and run to greet it? Remember that your momentary choices will sway your path, and wisdom is gained only by the experiences we choose to actually walk through. We build our strengths and skills by exercise and by practice. Practice making good choices. That starts each day the moment you first open your eyes.