The earth is thirsty. Cracked across her skin. Parched to her roots.
And we are all crying out for rain. Oh please, God, rain. We need it so badly. (And the crying out becomes complaining and cursing and fists shaking in rage and disbelief.)
But when we do have rain – when things are green and sated and as they should be (indeed . . . so that over time water really does turn into wine) we simply roll along, taking in the miracles that lie before and behind and above and around us.
On May 6, the earth was sufficiently watered (in Indiana, at least) – and in her subtle, surprising way, she was slowly slipping out from under a heavy, dull brown blanket, worn for many months, into a light, fresh green shift (n.a loosely fitting dress that hangs straight from the shoulder; a chemise) that shimmered when it caught the light.
I saw this from a motorcycle, which is sometimes the perfect place for noticing the mundane things that lie to the left and right – for seeing the unexpected way the earth rises and falls, lilts and skips – for seeing the flashing, blinking field rows that fly past – for seeing the unnoticed world that surrounds us – for seeing, well, all kinds of things that one doesn’t normally see.
I wrote this at the time:
Spring Fields –
A gently whispered green
tints the earth
and teases the eye
here then gone
seen then not –
a silent ode to human hands
that ever and again
work the land
with patient care –
a soaring anthem to Divine Mystery
where ever and again
broken seeds become bread
and broken bread becomes grace
to any who would take and eat.
I mused, detangled, listened, and reshaped until the rhythm, flow, and words were finished, complete, and just so.
I wrote. I posted. I breathed deeply and (admittedly) felt a certain sense of self-satisfaction at having found something to say and then a way to say it. In a very small way, I had created, and as Dorothy Sayers would point out, that is perhaps one of the most important ways in which humanity images the Creator.
Good for me.
I wrote. I created. I imaged the Creator. And yes, I experienced awe, amazement, and gratitude for the creation God placed in our hands.
What didn’t I do? I didn’t – not even once – stop and specifically thank God for the rain that made the mysterious “whispered green” possible. For the rain that miraculously turns dead seeds into living plants – living plants into fruit and grain – fruit and grain into food and sustenance.
Experiencing gratitude (which I did) is not quite the same thing as giving thanks (which I did not). The one is passive. The other is active. The one receives. The other gives. The one is experienced. The other is enacted.
I do not for one second espouse to some (crack) theology that equates my lack of giving thanks with the current lack of rain. The lack of rain is what it is – a lack of rain. It’s happened before. It will happen again. As I understand Genesis, the earth reaped her own set of unsought consequences from humanity’s fall.
But I do espouse to a faith that can challenge, transform, and grow a person no matter how long they have known God or followed Jesus.
So:I want to live a life defined by thanks rather than complaints – contentment rather than curses – peace rather than unrest. Perhaps a very manifest dry spell in the weather can help reroute a very obscure dry spell of the soul.