Thursday, January 17, 2008

Praying for Rain, Spiritual and Otherwise

Despite a storm that dumped eleven inches of rain in the San Lorenzo Valley recently, we're still in the midst of a drought. I'm longing for rain, not one big deluge, but days of steady drops that will soak into the ground, fill our streams and reservoirs and nurture our land and spirits back to life.


Once you were a nomad
parched dry, sunburned and chap-lipped
limping through the Mojave
with a broken compass
and a bag of gorp.

Then something, you don’t want to call it God
rained on you and in you
drenching the bone dry well of you
with something that hydrated
from the inside out.
You’ve heard it called living water.
Whether or not that’s true
you were never thirsty
in the same way, after that.

When your mother died
you worried that you’d dehydrate
were afraid to watch yourself shrivel.
But there was enough water.
Enough for the tears you needed to cry
and enough to keep you afloat.

You always knew you were grateful
but it seemed a private matter
one that lacked image or words
until the hundred-degree day your children
begged to run through the hose.

You turned the faucet and stood barefoot on the front lawn
thumb arcing the water into a bracing rainbow
and they raced back and forth through the spray
arms held to the sky, a squealing trinity
blades of wet grass plastered to their ankles.

It was then that you stepped away from yourself
one step closer to the flood.
You turned up your face and felt drops baptize your forehead.
Thank you you said to the force in the universe
and knew it was well pleased.

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