Monday, 27 August 2012

the mirror to your soul

It can cause chaos and destruction but I am fascinated by rain.
I respect it in each and every one of its illustrious guises, especially when it descends in a gentle mist and caresses the earth like the soft down of a newborn baby, or when it is harsh and cold, turning pavements to a stunning silvery grey. Gentle or fierce, it says something about who you are. Rain is a mirror to your soul.

As a child someone took me outside into the rain and told me that, there, above me and around me and below me, was my past. The rain that was enveloping me had hugged my mother and my grandmother and her grandmother before her. In tiny drops it comprised everything I had ever been. It is poetry, it is strength.

When I see rain, when I hear it, and when I feel it tease me, balancing playfully on my eyelashes or trickling under my collar and slipping unsuspectingly down my throat, I know who I am. I am strengthened by a well of familiarity that instead of submerging, releases. It frees.

Rain makes me melancholic, in a malleable way, as if its blanket of sadness can offer some kind of comfort, like a classic poem that brings tears of sorrow to your eyes and a contrasting smile to your lips. When you stare into its looking glass you know exactly where you are going and can understand from where you have come.

Here and then, tomorrow or yesterday, we and it share the same paths, forwards or backwards. Rain is a metaphor, a reminder, just when we need it most, that life is fragile. When the rain stops, in those briefest of precious moments, if we look for it, we can find our time, our tiny chance.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

the sanctuary of the ungodly hour

The leaf caught my eye the instant it made its bold move, floating gently, the pretty colours still vibrant, still incredibly sharp. It was bursting with all the stunning things that its tender existence evokes, like the sun that hangs playfully, its richness moored impossibly high in the sky yet with a presence so close it caresses, squeezing itself into hidden spaces, chasing the darkness of the ungodly hour into the shadows.

The summer sun is a silent beacon, compelling us to rise from our cocoons and embrace a light that changes the way we breathe and the way we sip our surroundings, swallowing it greedily like lines of beautiful poetry that sway deeply inside, warming us from toe to tip.

It may have captured my attention but the little leaf, tipping its hat to the bended branch, wasn't trying to impress. When the tiny cup of summer acknowledged my recognition it blushed and overflowed, a gentle gust of wind rushing in to offer it support as it spiralled downwards, carrying it quickly to the ground as if it might never have happened. And yet I could see it settle, the edges of summer sheltering in the roots of a big old tree that had seen it all before, its maturity glowing with a confidence that says it’s okay to let go.

It needn't have worried, that small chalice of hope was skipping enthusiastically towards autumn, its bravery a leap into the unknown, to something new, to the possibilities of another season.

Summer hasn't really arrived this year, it has swayed softly on the periphery, sometimes strong, sometimes shouting its presence with warmth and colour, capturing a snapshot that mirrors a scene played out a million times before. And whilst each landscape is different its sameness comforts, and so will the autumn as it emerges strongly, chasing away the winter, keeping those cold crisp mornings at bay until the bright sky of a December snowfall hangs impossibly high in the sky with a presence so close it chases the darkness of the ungodly hour into the shadows....

Today the leaves explore their surroundings, impatiently waiting for the sun to hang its charm that little bit closer to the darkness of tomorrow. And tomorrow will embrace something new and yet so familiar we will take it in our stride and move towards something we've not quite met, for those ungodly hours are a sanctuary, defending tomorrow from the final residue of today.