In the past five days Northern California has gotten more rain than in the entirety of last winter. A mere drop in the bucket for this serious three-year-long drought we are in but still, I swear I think I can hear the earth singing... or maybe that's just me, or maybe it's this sweet creek, that has not had a drop of water in it in the two years that I have lived here. Hearing its melody as it trickled over rocks and roots, imagining how nourished the plant and animal life - the very earth itself - must be feeling because of it, feeling my own awe at such a small, beautiful thing, was a joy.
When the downpour broke for a few minutes, I couldn't wait to get over there to the park. I donned my raincoat and boots, grabbed my camera, and headed out the front door, a woman on a mission. Only to be stopped by the sheer beauty; everywhere I turned such stunning fall color, more vibrant I'm sure after getting their leaves so thoroughly cleansed. Everything seemed to vibrate, the leaves, the clouds, the air itself.
Life is hard right now. Big changes are happening for members of my family. The air here is awash in loss, grief, conflict, sorrow, vulnerability, fear of the unknown; and I am fighting, though most of the time losing, trying to keep my own balance, wanting to be there for the deep need, feeling pulled in too many directions, my own childhood traumas triggered at the same time that my own loved ones need me, and my normal go-to's not working. But on that little break yesterday, out in the crisp and clean air, under thick, full clouds, everything covered in raindrops, trees painted their fall colors, puddles full of leaves, water flowing, squirrels scurrying about, birds calling out tentatively, there was respite. In those moments, my mind grew quiet, and I could feel a letting go, a calming of my nervous system. She - Mother Earth - is the very ground beneath us; without Her there is nothing, period... and I need to remember that a profound nurturance is found there, that it is there we can experience renewal; even if it means no more than opening the front door and breathing in the fresh air, stepping outside and feeling her solidly beneath me, taking in her colors, shapes, textures, patterns, her myriad life forms, or staring into the vastness of the sky that holds Her. It's so simple really... I just need to remember.