Today it rained. That’s a big deal in Montana right now. For the past several weeks we have been breathing particulate heavy air. The fires in the state are out of control making the smoke in the air almost unbearable. I lost count awhile back but there is something like 20 fires in Montana that have scorched over 400,000 acres of land. It’s not only sad and anxiety provoking to watch these unbridled death storms take over forests and wildlife and homes, it’s also terrifying to think of the men and women who are fighting them.
These heavy thoughts are on all our minds when we wake up and peer out our windows, curious if we could see the mountains today or not. We have had to spend so many days indoors, getting physically and mentally cramped up without being able to play and enjoy the beautiful state we love. I’m not kidding when I tell you that my house now smells of campfire and my eyes have burned and I have sneezed relentlessly for over a month now. I haven’t exercised outside in weeks. All that agrivation coupled with the complete devastation these fires have produced has been deeply unsettling. It’s been a tough couple of months.
But then the rain came. It started yesterday with a few drops turning into a light shower by late afternoon. Today, fat rain drops fell in cascading showers that soaked everything. I have rarely experienced a heavy rain like that, and I am almost beside myself knowing that it has finally happened. When I stepped outside into the wet air I was completely and deeply moved. It was like the earth had forgotten how to care for itself and then it suddenly and triumphantly recovered. It was spectacular. Maybe it was the beauty of the simplicity of it all: water eliminates fire. The problem is solved. It was that simple and yet we had no control over it.
It feels healing. It feels restorative. Perhaps it’s because so many of the solutions in my life have been so hard won since my diagnosis. Almost nothing has been simple. Everything was complicated and contemptuously difficult. It begs me to walk out into that rain and let it soak me through and through- washing away all my maladies and soothing my soul.
This rain has also likely touched me so deeply because of how I see the world now. Disease has lended me curious lenses. Small, simple things are often miracles: the determination of a tree growing on a mountain cliff, the feel of tall grass on the palms of my hands, the absolutely astounding way water falls from the sky. I mean, really. We are so used to it but, hey everyone, water. falls. from. the. sky. here! How awe-inspiring is that?
This. This is the joy I am blessed with in my life now. It is almost childlike. At least I find myself easily getting excited over the small, silly things my kids also marvel at. We laugh together, “Yes, Sophie! I see! The rain is falling so hard it is making bubbles on the puddles! How neat is that?”
If you ever find yourself tempted to feel sorry for me for all that I have endured, please pause and remember this: I am moved nearly to tears by the beauty and the power of precipitation falling from the sky. What a life.
Give ‘Em Hell