Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Rains and our Inner Well Being

In this part of the world, on many a day, if the year is good, and the weather is kind, we have a good drenching rain. Today and last night has been that way. Last night the wind could be heard wild and whipping and this morning on our wide front porch, even boots and gloves supposedly “protected” by the overhang, were drenched. This cut a little into this morning’s fun, since without the big waterproof boots, I can’t frolic and stomp and work around so easily in the wet and mud and rain.

This, a shame. Yesterday’s pushing of wheelbarrows full of compost and horseshit in the drizzle, not only kept my body warm, and gave me pure and free exercise, but lifted my spirits as well. Who can feel poorly when the full fresh wetness of winter is all around, and you can march and stomp through it in your high boots, like some happy child.

Children know that rain is fun. Adults think it’s a bother, as if the wetness will somehow dissolve us.

When did we learn to be so fussy and frightened of a little discomfort? And is this really discomfort, a bit of wetness in our socks, or around our knees, and even, seemingly the worst of it, dripping down our neck? We can tell ourselves it is a drag, or that it’s yucky, or that it’s whatever we like to label experiences we want to avoid, but much like the emotional discomfort we were examining in the first section, physical discomfort, at least short of real miserable cold or hot, is often a mental story, a set up in our mind to be unhappy about the way things are going.

So we have the dampness, which as an experience is just a little .., well, damp. And then we have the story about the dampness, about how we really are uncomfortable, how we have to get back indoors, how we have to “fix” whatever is happening right now. We use the dampness as an excuse to dampen our own experience, to clamp down on our joy in living.

And now, this now as I write, the sun has come up between rain showers, and the clothes that I washed and hung around the house to soak up extra house heat and dry that way, the clothes beacon: put me on the line, they say. And, of course, the story: that’s too much work. And the story: it could rain again and I’d have to go out and bring them in. And the story: why can’t I just be like everyone and put my wet/damp clothes in the dryer? Well, I could, and prefer not to use the electricity. And anyway, the sport of hanging up wash is one I enjoy.

So rain not only gives me a chance to get outside and learn the difference between the experience of getting a little wet (after all there are coats and sturdy shoes, even when the boots are down and out of commission) and real suffering. It also gives me the chance to play with my clothes, the see if the skies will stay clear of rain long enough for some drying to take place.

And by the time these last two paragraphs have been written, the clouds and grayness has come in again. The wind is still strong, and by the end of this paragraph, the rains could be back. Time to put on my boots and take a walk. Maybe they’ll still be wet inside and my feet will get a little wet.

Maybe it will start to rain on me. Maybe I’ll play part time gambler and hang some of the clothes on the line.

If I’m present, it’s all a gift, isn’t it?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

the importance of fresh air

sweater on plant
sweater on plant on piano

to breathe fresh air:
our bodies like to do this
and when riding a bike along
a beautiful road today
i saw some people taking happy walks

other people work

still others
do chores
for their animals

others garden

some just go
and sit

this is
a nice way to

it make
any money?

the big question

somehow: you can build gardens
and talk to people
and write books
and think useful thoughts
and think no thoughts in a kind
of enlightened

all this
can do
breathing fresh air