Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Joy of Rain...

It's cold and wet and rainy outside... and I'm loving it!

A few days ago we got a downpour. I mean... literally. The rain was coming down so fast and so hard it was like a wall. The last time I saw a downpour like that was in a monsoon... and monsoons don't happen in Oregon. The parking lot became a small river.

I'm not complaining... after having lived in the desert for seven years, I welcome the freshness a good Pacific Northwest rainfall brings. I started to say just rainfall, but that can be deceiving. I had to add the Pacific Northwest in.

The first rainfall I experienced in Mesa, Arizona left me feeling really homesick. Not because if made me feel like I was home, but because it didn't... The rain started coming down and I thought "good, nothing like cleaning the air and breathing in the freshness after the rain." That is what I expected, what I longed for. What I had experienced my whole life, having been spoiled in the Pacific Northwest lushness and greenery. So I waited for the rain to end, anticipating what it would smell like when the sun peeked out again. Mesa does not smell good, except maybe a little on Brown Avenue, where the orange groves are, and only during the short time when they are in bloom. That does smell good. But in general, the smell of pollution has taken over. It stinks.

So after the rainfall I prepared myself for a "moment". You know the kind where your heart takes a picture and you mark it in your "life book" as a time and place to remember fondly? I stepped outside... I breathed in a deep breath... and I chocked! The smell was horrid... it was musty.... it was moldy... it gagged me. I went back inside in shock. It was about as far away from what I expected as I could have gotten. My heart never developed the picture, I did my best to let it just fade away. I think I may even have cried. I missed home, I missed all those things I had taken for granted.

After that I never made the mistake again. Instead of preparing myself to take in a moment, I prepared myself to not gag when I went out after the rain. All the rain in Arizona left me feeling was damp and dirty. Lifeless... There is no life in the rainfall there. I don't know if that was because it didn't rain often, or that Mesa/Phoenix has become such a polluted place. Or perhaps it was always that way.

Maybe those who love the desert would differ with me, but until I moved there I never dreamed that a tree could look so "sad". So lacking in life. So lacking in green. It seems there are only a few shades of green there, green/brown and brown/green. You could feel it, the plants were not happy. I know that sounds like I'm going off the deep end, but until you experience it, it is really hard to describe. The best I can think of is... the plants were sad. They were living, but not really alive. Just existing. They give in to the wind and the dust. They don't rejoice... they don't sing.

I am grateful for the time I spent in the desert. I believe God had a plan for me there, He took me there to heal me and to teach me. The desert has it's place and it's purpose. I think I was like the desert. I wasn't alive, I only existed. I gave in to the wind and the dust... I didn't rejoice... I didn't sing...

As I walk through a forest here, I can feel the spirit of the woods. The trees here are happy, they rejoice in their home, they sing... They bow and bend to the wind, then laugh as they straighten up again. The trees are happy here. The green is deep and brilliant, and so many shades.

So let the rain fall... Let the trees rejoice... God made this wonderful place and the rain needs to fall in order to keep it this way.

Thank you Lord, for bringing me home. The air smells so good here and in it I rejoice.

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