Thursday, May 12, 2011

Longing for Rain

While our friends in the midwest are suffering so with epic flooding and rainfall, those of us in the southwest are wishing some of it could come this way. It has been so dry for so long that we are in high fire danger. A few days ago there was visible smoke in every direction. Our dedicated firefighters from all around the state have been working hard to get all the brush fires under control but it is a tough job.

I miss rain! I mean the all-day kind, the kind we almost never get. The kind that drives one to the bookshelf to settle in with an engrossing novel, maybe with a cup of tea or cocoa, occasionally looking up just to watch it cascade down the window. Don't get me wrong. I love the desert -- that's why I live here. But just ever so often I yearn for a good downpour. (Just please, not next Wednesday. That's when I'm having all our windows washed!)

Here's a poem based on a familiar quote, whose source I do not know.

Rain Dance ("Don't wait for the storm to end, learn to dance in the rain.")

Yes, I know the phrase
but not who penned it first.
Learn to dance in the rain,
it goes, mouth open wide
to quench your thirst,
with what falls from the sky -
you might as well invite
the storms that come in dark of night.

Arms outstretched to face
the outrage and deceit,
the petulance and greed,
the pain of hurt and loss,
far more than enough
for one to bear alone,
while your back straightens
and your skin grows tough

Bring on the aging bodies,
the aching joints, failing senses
whose mysteries no doctors
can decode in all their sterile halls,
go ahead, endure, survive
it all and even thrive
when life calls down upon your head
a shower of bowling balls.

Dance for your life,
dance wildly until every song is tasted.
Let yourself be lifted on the wind,
not a drop of precious rain wasted
and when it stops at last, stand still
with the people who love you.
Inhale the music and forgive the world
to lighten your step for the next dance.

from Sip Wine, Drink Stars, 2009

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