“Water is always an invitation to imersion [for me], an immersion with a quality of totality, since it would accept all of me, as I am. Some primal urge invites me to return whence I came.
At times I have done so. There is some special delight in simply walking into a stream, stepping into a lake. The child’s delight in a puddle is my adult’s in the sea…
No rain falls that I do not at once hear in the sound of the falling water an invitation to come to the wedding. It is rare that I do not answer. A walk in an evening rain in any setting is to walk in the midst of God’s loving attention to his earth, and, like a baptism, is no simple washing, but a communication of life. When you hurry in out of the rain, I hurry out into it, for it is a sign that all is well, that God loves, that good is to follow. If suffering a doubt, I find myself looking to rain as a good omen. And in rain, I always hear singing, wordless chant rising and falling.
When rain turns to ice and snow I declare a holiday. I could as easily resist as stay at a desk with a parade going by in the street below. I cannot hide the delight that then possesses my heart. Only God could have surprised rain with such a change of dress as ice and snow…
Most people love rain, water. Snow charms all young hearts. Only when you get older and bones begin to feel dampness, when snow becomes a traffic problem and a burden in the driveway, when wet means dirt – then the poetry takes flight and God’s love play is not noted.
But I am still a child and have no desire to take on the ways of death. I shall continue to heed water’s invitation, the call of the rain. We are in love and lovers are a little mad.”
~Matthew Kelty, Flute Solo, Reflections of a Trappist Hermit, pp. 117-19
Last week, I woke to thunder and lightning. As I sat at the table and watched the rain gush in sheets down the big picture window, I was reminded of the above quote. I came across it several years ago in Don Poestma’s wonderful book, Space for God, and since then it has been a reminder for me of the joy of water, of life, of finding God in all things.
That afternoon as the sky darkened, my brother and I prepared for a short bike ride – cooling off on a ride to the house we lived in ten years ago, just a couple of miles away. As we were pulling the bikes out of the garage, it started to sprinkle just a bit. I glanced at Jon with a wondering look, and he grinned back – of course he was still up for it.
So off we went… Something about bike riding makes me feel like a kid again – the jumping off the curb, swerving and skidding around corners, riding with no hands and standing up, speed and grace… the entire way there, it was gently sprinkling – a cooling, calming rain. When we arrived, we spent a while in the church parking lot across the street from our old house, trying to drift around the corners on our bikes, taking advantage of the slick asphalt as we skidded around corners in our makeshift racetrack…. so much fun (until Jon tried to take a corner just a little too fast, and wiped out – and even though there was no harm done, that ended that specific game.)
As we turned around and began to make our way home, the heavens opened – thunder, lightning, howling wind, driving rain… I could barely see as we crossed rivers and streams that had formed on the streets near our home. Yet as we rode, the above reflection resounded in my mind, and my heart, and joy and laughter exploded and overflowed from my heart. And in the midst of that overflow, there was gratitude… I am so blessed, and that is for a purpose, a reason beyond myself… may that life continue to spill over into all around…