Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainy Day Gratitude

Grey day across the meadow behind our home, after the rains

Insomnia has been my companion all summer. If I go to bed in the middle of the night, around 3 AM, I can sleep soundly for four to five hours. If I go to bed around midnight, I won't fall asleep until two-ish, then wake every hour. A dilemma indeed.

It's been a very difficult summer, to say the least.

This morning as I turned off my laptop and warmed my microwavable neck pillow before heading upstairs at 3:15, I heard it.

The gentle fall of rain, pattering quietly on the metal roof of our screened patio.

I opened the sliding glass doors all the way, and the previously muffled sound engulfed me. Leaving the doors open, I moved to the front door, switched on the porch light, and strode barefoot across the wooden planks to the three concrete steps. I raised my hand out beyond the protection of the porch roof, and there it was.

Raindrops, the circumference of a quarter, caught in my upturned palm.

And I breathed in grateful gasps of the strange yet unforgettable scent of rain hitting warm pavement.

In dry Southern California, our rainy season is November-April. Summer rain in July is not uncommon. But September rain? That's a rare blessing, a gem sparkling in the single bulb of porch light, a liquid diamond.

I hefted myself upstairs a few moments later after closing and locking doors, smiling to myself. I had heard and seen and smelled and touched and (yes!) tasted the blessing.

And it was very good.

The rain returned around 10:30 this morning, and all of us enjoyed it. We threw open doors and windows that usually stay closed all day, locking in cool night air as long as possible--our old-fashioned version of air conditioning.

But today the welcome rain cooled the air for us, and we inhaled its clean, sweet fragrance, thankful for the grace of it all.

Through the day, clouds hung heavy, protecting us from usual September beating of hot sunshine. Humid air wafted vanilla-scent of Jeffrey Pines through screened windows, and we wiped perspiration from our necks as we worked.

This is grace, this rain. A gift we do not usually receive in September, Southern California's hottest month.

So I continue on the journey to One Thousand Gifts with The Gratitude Community at A Holy Experience, thanking God this day....
641. for the crescent moon glowing against deep cerulean skies at dusk

642. for overcast mornings, sunlight diffused and dappled

643. for tart green apples, bunched grape-like on Pippin tree

644. for writing to be done, life's work with pen in hand

645. for all four kids and husband gathered into small bunk-bedded room, familiar tunes fingered on newly-repaired keyboard

646. for summer rain on an early-September morning

647. for sweet blueberries, plumply grape-sized, eaten for breakfast

648. for swishing of car tires on puddled, rain-dampened streets

649. for low grumbles of thunder rolling through silver-grey clouds, charcoal underbellies reverberating

650. for gentle drip-drip of rainwater from serrated oak leaves as showers shift westward

As skies remain grey, silvered by diffused sunlight creeping toward western peaks, the fresh scent of the day's rain sweetly remains, promising a cool, crisp evening ahead.

Grateful for the rain, this day and always,


Jane D. said...

Whenever it rains over here Susanne (which this summer has been very often) - I try to think of you - your words are beautiful, blessings to you, Jane x.

Susanne Barrett said...

Thank you, Jane. :) Rain is a very rare thing in our town. We're technically a desert here, and rain is a true blessing. :)


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