“Poets are always taking the weather so personally.” J.D. Salinger
Maybe you’ve felt it too. How sunny afternoons can make a mockery of a brooding mind or how the rush of an unexpected breeze can feel like unseen wings pulling body and spirit up for just one more try. Sometimes I sneak out to the porch in rare dawn moments when the little bears are still dreaming just to drink the morning in. If it were possible to fill a thermos with the blessed air of that sixty degree stillness then perhaps weary months wouldn’t feel quite so parched.
This post is later than I meant it to be. I’ve been sketching haiku experiments in my minimal spare time, and I think that it’s a good muscle building exercise for artists to try and create within existing boundaries. Setting those wild horses free can produce amazing results, but we also need to rein in from time to time. Try something new. Explore stricter patterns and so challenge our skill set. I didn’t produce perfect syllabic verse, but I’ll let you be the judge of which ones are faulty, if you have the patience.
I’m not certain why I couldn’t escape the rain theme. Certainly, I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever met who didn’t love the perfume of a good summer downpour. But for me it’s always felt more personal than that. J.D. Salinger certainly has my number, and my pen.
Rain refreshes and renews in such lovely mystery. As children most of us knew the dance of the unabashed and splashed, skipping rubber boots across the sidewalk. And did you ever wish you could shake hands with your reflection on the other side of the puddle? I suspect that as adults we still harbor a small drip of joy within us whenever the first smattering of drops plucks the office window pane. We want nothing more than to loosen ties, kick off our heels, and stomp through the wet, smashing expectations and shattering puddled mirrors as we go.
Where the ground is crusted dry there’s an eye on the horizon. When the mind is hot and bothered there’s an ear to the wind. And if pain smothers with its thirsty heat, there’s a soul on its knees praying for thunder.
I can’t explain why peaces rushes in on a current of brontide, how that low gentle rumble strikes a deep chord of that wraps around my sternum and fortifies my spine. From laden clouds blanketing the mountains to clear water washing suburb streets, I’ve always met a longing in the rain.
Both familiar and distant, the untamed echo endlessly repeats. A mighty hymn of the sky, a lullaby for the lost. Each drop sings Amen, and within it I remember that the peace of God surpasses understanding, that beneath the Cross I can approach the throne where grace pours down. I can be still in his presence and watch the living water bring life to brokenness, and even when trials dry and crack terrestrial clay that the rain is always coming, because the Lord is on his way.
The August thunder
Billows in gun-metal banks,
Rolls sound through cooled calm.
Brontide of bass notes
Settles on souls, the might
Of an unworded song.
Turmoil crowns the air
Drums on mountains, notes flung high
And yet peace rains down.
Wing from the deep of the sky
To bless weary feet.
Light splits veiling cloud
Parts nimbus seams, high to low
A breath of glory.
The storms remember.
Sirimiri winds blow.
Oh spirit, wish me joy.
Parched souls wash and drink
When heaven tears asunder
And broken skies pour.
This song of holy wonder
Is what I was made for.
Happy Monsoon Season, everyone (if you live in the mountains that is). I’ve not said all that I wanted to, and what I’ve been able to squeeze out onto the page doesn’t sound nearly as complete as it did in my head. In addition to taking the weather personally, poets often struggle to truly capture the weight of all they feel. Born into September, I was made for October, so maybe I love a good downpour simply because just for a little while I can don an oversized sweatshirt and pretend it’s fall. In any case, I acknowledge that not all deluges are so tranquil as the ones I evidently prefer, but we’ll get to those some other time. For now though, as we sojourn in the last of summer—
May you find a porch where you can rest and watch a good storm or two roll in.
It’s ok to not be ok. Sometimes clouds burst too. Let the thunder crack you open and split your arid shell, where mercy can run into all the gaps.
The rain is always coming, because He came, and the awesome might of His truth crowns the shower of His tenderness.
Peace and rain be with you all.
All work subject to copyright by the author. Use by permission only. 2017.
Images via: thatkindofwoman.tumblr.com, szyszki.tumblr.com, sportsbrasandsitups.tumblr.com, barefootblonde.com, moonandtrees.tumblr.com, other-worldly.tumblr.com