The late summer storm clouds are about to obscure my view of brightest star in the western sky. They have been moving in this direction for some time now, but I hoped they would spare the star. I take comfort in knowing that when the clouds pass, the star will be there. Yes, the star is above the clouds. It is above the rain and even above the sun. It has been a great marvel to look out over the valley and see lightning, clouds so dark they hide the eastern mountains in their plaque, and still to the east a sunset to take my breath away.
Thunder rolls to my left as pink ripens to deep purplish-orange on my right. I hear children gasp in wonder at the sight of a particularly impressive slash of lightning. Rain teases softly on my rooftop, plucking at leaves until it seems the trees themselves shudder with giddy anticipation. Too long they have roasted in the sun, too long relied on our piped water to sustain them, when all they truly desire is a good, hard rain.
My husband laughs in the living room, and a breeze stirs the aspen across the street. The storm draws closer. More lightning rips the sky, and I wonder at the dancing silhouettes before me. Sometimes I wonder if I am the light or the thing that blocks it.
I hear a single cricket; quite the change from the usual chorus that sings us to sleep most nights. And now even he, my solitary serenader, has fallen silent. As I write, things change. Time moves on. Clouds roil and churn overhead with a calm that belies their inner machinations.
How is it that I may see God's hand where ever I look? Not long ago I mentioned to my sister that sometimes it was hard for me to pray before bed because I felt that I had prayed so often all day that I could not imagine God wanted to hear from me more. Her answer was very much like her. She said, "It seems to me that if you see God everywhere, and thank him all day for each blessing you recognize: that is the definition of "the pure in heart.'"
I shy away from that definition, for obvious reasons. Perhaps they are only obvious to me: I dare not agree outright, because I fear the term "pure," let alone the idea of asserting that I am "pure in heart." I have worked a good deal over the past year to be actively grateful for all I see, hear, feel, learn and experience. I try, and sometimes I fail, though my failures are not stacking up too high these days, in this area.
The sunlight is nearly spent entirely. Now the lightning is even more impressive as it tears asunder the darkness that stretches over the valley. The thunder more ominous because it comes from an unseen place, echoing back and forth between the mountains.
I saw a neighbor girl outside today. She saw the rain and came out in it, just as I had. I have often joked that when the sun is out, my children are in. And when the rain comes to play, so do my children. It is true of myself. That is likely where they get the notion.
Late summer rains are some of my favorites. I remember nine summers ago now when in rehearsal for West Side Story, that it poured rain near the end of the night. I and my three best friends of the time ran into the shower headlong and danced in it. No stitch of clothing was spared. We were drenched. The rain smelled of salt and dirt. Our laughter rivaled the thunder for boisterousness. Whenever it rains in the summer, this is the memory that comes to me.
One year ago tonight, I opened as the Witch in "Into the Woods". How long ago that seems! How quickly this year has passed. Four years ago, I brought home my second child. In the rain. I remember it raining the second day Rivulet was in this world. It rained so hard that the power went out and she and I slept together in my hospital bed, as there was no nurse to retrieve her. The sound of her breathing still sooths me to sleep, as does the sound of the rain.
I am so grateful, for ever so many things. Most importantly tonight I am grateful for the advice and the permission I was given a few days ago, all of it wrapped up in one word: "Live." Not to imply that I would die...but I was in the process of putting myself and other things "on hold." Living means to be actively engaged. To enjoy, to be grateful, to experience without regret the exspendature of time. Two good men have advised me thus, and I feel it my soul that I must obey. And in the words of my favorite God Emperor, "Is not your obedience instructive?"
It is dark now, from the west to the east, the north to the south. The lightning has not subsided - nor has my desire to write - but I have perhaps run out of things to say for the time being. At least in this vein. I cannot say exactly why this has become my way: writing and expressing where once the purpose of the blog was to document and update daily happenings. Sometimes I wish it were the latter instead of the former. But then I remember that what is is, and I have a truer desire to share my thoughts and feelings than to recount the actions of my days. My actions speak of themselves, and say something different to everyone. I am the only one who can say and write MY words. If I don't, no one will.