Where I live we are nearing the end of a disturbingly dry spring season. And though here in the high desert we are accustomed to dryness, lately I've been sensing a kind of visceral agitas, a restlessness, a narrow-focused frenzy in the pace and activities of my neighbors and friends, and of myself.
And then the rain came. An entire day of rain mixed with heavy wet snowflakes. Pure gift! Pure on many levels. The dirty city air is sparkling and sidewalks shine like they've been scrubbed. The pollen count is down and we can breathe better. The sky is even bluer this morning.
But during the Rain, before we got to Renewal, there was Rest. The whole city was quieter yesterday without the noises of construction or road repair and traffic was light. Even the usual runners were taking a day off; only dog walkers in slickers were out and about. For one day the rain made us all rest.
What a relief it was to sleep late without any hurry to be up and out. No yard work, no bike ride, just curling up with a book and a pillow, sharing lunch with one old friend. A whole day off! At night we walked down empty streets to a small Mexican restaurant that is usually crowded with boisterous hurrying people pacing in place while they wait for a table. But last night as the rain stopped and sunset broke through the clouds only four tables were occupied. At each the diners were leaning back, at ease with their companions, exchanging unhurried conversation over fajitas and beer.
The rain was a gift that made me stop and settle into a deeper awareness of being alive. And I reflected on how driven to action and performance many of us have become, as if we are only good enough when we are producing something. The truth is that we are already good enough. From birth we are children of God who have nothing to prove. When we live with a grateful awareness of our worth and our place in community, the best in us develops and naturally flows out as a blessing in the world. Times of rest can restore us to ourselves, to our roles as both humble participant and unique contributor where we live and work and play.
So remember to rest. Even finches and foxes bed down to get restored. I invite you to revel in your own life and sometimes to revel in the heaviness of your fatigue. Whether by rain or by choice, rest is a treasure and it comes before renewal.
Eileen J Terry