Last night about 10 p.m. I heard a strange sound. At first I was a bit concerned. I went to the window to see if my suspicions were correct. Yes, it was raining HARD. It wasn’t sprinkling or raining lightly — I wouldn’t have heard that inside my cocoon of a house with windows tightly sealed and curtains drawn for the night. A mere rain shower would have passed through without notice.
No, this was a gully washer, a toad choker, a frog strangler — hard, heavy rain that forced itself upon the earth. This is the kind of rain that you want when you need something washed away. Yes, it can batter and beat, it can hurt even, and you certainly do not want this kind of rain after you have planted your garden and the little seed leaves are trying to assert themselves upon the landscape. No, this kind of rain is not always welcome. Last night it was.
We have had a few inches of hard-crusted snow and ice remaining on the yard, gardens and bordering the driveway for weeks. This hard memory of winter just would not leave. It had to be pushed out the door, and that rain last night did that unpleasant job. It didn’t worry about being perceived as rude. It didn’t worry about crushing tiny, tender seedlings. It just came and pounded on that hard crust. Best of all, it washed away winter. It took winter with it as it traveled in rivulets and tiny, newborn brooks and larger streams. It filled up the pond and raised the lake with winter and spring mingled together, mixed up and indistinguishable.
And that is how life is. When it has been hard, traumatic, beating and battering without end, sometimes it takes a hard rain to wash away the encrusted shell we put on to keep us safe through those hard times. The shell cannot remain, though, if life is to go on. If we want new life to flourish, the shell must be removed — you cannot plant seeds in a hard-crusted earth.
No one willingly sheds that hard shell; it would hurt too much to pick it off like a scab. It must be softened, dissolved, and then washed away. The rains do that job, and though we often curse them, yes, hate them, those heavy rains do what no one else can do: they free us from the past.
I am embracing the hard rains of spring so that I can have a beautiful, fruitful summer, and a celebratory autumn surrounded by the fullness of life.
I am ready to develop a new beauty, one filled with self-determination, yes. But one that is not so hard and protective. Understanding and establishing boundaries, I am ready to begin a new life — truly begin a new life.
Spring is here!