How we see the rain
The kind that pounds the ground and splashes up
caking low leaves in mud
spattering dirt into mosaic designs on higher foliage.
Five minutes later…
Clear delicious air, the kind that only comes after rain.
Wind, even blue sky amidst the dazzling clouds.
Over and again this pattern repeats.
The need for rain gear and sunscreen alternating
many times within the hour.
This is the weather system that has settled in
for more than a week.
It transforms dog walks and lawn mowing into strategic endeavors.
It wreaks havoc on outdoor plans –
To cancel, or not.
To wait it out, or not.
To just get wet and deal with it later, or try to stay dry.
These are not earth shattering choices.
In the light of all happening in the world,
they don’t even warrant a poem.
Except when one considers the little things
and that habit they have of adding up to big things.
I picture a pessimist reading these words and nodding knowingly,
thinking about a collection of small choices
that added up to upheaval or disruption or loss.
In the same breath, I see the optimist reading and smiling,
nodding equally knowingly,
recalling a series of seemingly insignificant decisions
that led down a path of greater good, or joy, or things “working out.”
It seems even rain can divide us
in terms of how we see the world.
The pessimist in me puts my head in my hands in dismay,
concluding there is just no way, ever, for collective understanding
or peace or harmony in our differences.
The optimist in me notices that, regardless of our perspective,
every single one of us makes choices along our path
that bring upheaval, disruption, loss,
goodness, joy, and things “working out” from time to time.
So maybe it isn’t so much how we see things
but how we carry them,
as a burden or as something precious that we would not want to put down.
To be human is to know that this perspective will change back and forth
sometimes as quickly and as often as the rain yields to sun and back again.
So perhaps our greatest kindness
is to recognize this dance we all have with the mud and the sun
and to see ourselves as part of it.