I haven’t written in over a month. It’s strange because I miss writing but at the same time I don’t.
I’ve been sitting with my laptop for over an hour having typed just 2-3 sentences. I abandoned the laptop and went outside with my iPad, thinking a change of scenery would spur my writing. It did not. I left the iPad for my journal and fountain pen. Instead of thoughts streaming the way they usually do, they felt stuck; not in a bad way. It wasn’t a constipated feeling but one of emptiness. I placed my pen back inside it’s leather pouch, closed my journal and placed these items on the top step. As if I he knew I needed or simply wanted some company, Jack rose from his place laying in the cool grass and walked over to sit by me. He gently placed his head between my arm and torso. Instead of writing we sat in stunned silence as we soaked up the nature around us.
My writing is my therapy so I hope my lack of writing is an indication that things in my life are in greater balance. I write daily in my journal but nothing from those sessions jumped out at me and said, “This would make a great blog post.” My meditation practice has been consistent and has been helpful managing the feelings associated with the foot injury which has kept me from running. My lack of running secondary to what I believe to be tendinitis in my foot has been easier to accept than I would have ever expected. That alone lets me know I have been doing what I need to do for myself.
In an ongoing effort to maintain balance in my life, I retreat outdoors. Jack sat across the room, his face gently resting on his paws. He was not sleeping but watching; his eyes tracking my movements. I capped my fountain pen, slid it neatly into the leather pouch which cradles it so safely. Jack raised his head. He stood and stretched, never taking his eyes from me. He returned to a sitting position, continuing to watch me. He anticipated going outside. He loves the outdoors as much as me.
We both stood simultaneously as if we read each other’s minds. I reached for his leash and my umbrella. Jack normally doesn’t like the rain. He won’t venture outside on his own, but once he realized I would be joining him he walked agreeably toward the door. We headed toward the front porch where an umbrella would not be necessary.
Rain pours from the sky drenching everything it touches. I sit with Jack who sniffs the air. I watch him and smile. I love the fresh smell of the air after it has rained. The ferocity of the rain begins to decrease until eventually it stops. I close my eyes and tilt my head backward. I take a deep breath, one of those breaths which fully fills my lungs. I become aware of the fresh smell, that same smell which hovers in the air when fresh sheets have been placed on my bed.
The memories linger for I know the freshness will not last. Memories continue to flood back. I sit with my eyes still closed, my ears more aware of the nuances of every sound. Rain water drips from the leaves high up in the trees hitting other leaves and the drop what they hold until the additional weight becomes too great and those drops also descend toward the earth. Those drops which are more reluctant to be released from their perch hang on as if fearful of the fall. Their combining weight, forces the boughs onto which they grasp to bend under their combined weight. For a moment, the sound made by these drops leads me to believe the rain has begun again.
Many of us complain when it rains. We allow ourselves to become frustrated by the unknown gift. We deny the memories most of us have created during our youth when we played in the rain. Rain is now a nuisance; a thing to be avoided. We run from our house to our cars and from our cars to whatever our destination is for the day. Our thought is, “If I run I won’t get wet.” I use rain to reflect and slow down.
My thoughts during the rain are not what I cannot do but what I can do. It is this process of slowing down which allows reflection less common than when the weather has been “nicer”. It is this perception of the rain which leads us to frustration. This rain, this beautiful life-giving rain is a thing to be cherished and accepted. If only we used the opportunity to be increasingly mindful of this and other situations around us; the situations over which we have little or no control but we allow to control us and ultimately our mood.
As I sat outside with Jack I watched clouds begin to thin and finally part. Slivers of blue began to peek through the parting clouds. Since returning from Florida we have been swamped with rain…17.5″ in the past month.
Grey skies accompany the rain and rapidly my mood sours. Being mindful of this I look for the opportunity to embrace the weather and all that goes with it.