I wake to snow across my lawn being dampened by a mixture of sleet and freezing rain. I leave my curtains open yet curl slightly inwards, wrapping myself in a large wool sweater. As the day continues, the sleet mixes with rain and my lawn becomes a long winding puddle that hints at becoming a small river.......and the rain continues.

All bundled up, I step outside ready to bolt to my car yet am stopped by the sound of a flock of birds chirping in the trees above me. They amaze me! It's sleeting and raining and even with their tiny bodies exposed to the elements (and no wool sweaters!) they sound as if they are bursting with the joy of being alive.

I stand in the rain and breathe slowly. It is no longer weather that I want to curl inwards and away from. I am in the midst of a thaw. What was freezing this morning is warming....snow becoming sleet becoming rain becoming....becoming....and this is my joy, that I can listen in and be a part of all of it. 

Rain falling, breath filling, I recall a reflection by Thomas Merton....

“Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water.

What a thing to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows! Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen.”

- Thomas Merton, Rain and the Rhinoceros

photo credit: Kim Tateo, Hoh Rainforest, 2016

photo credit: Kim Tateo, Hoh Rainforest, 2016