Saturday, April 24, 2010

After the Rain

By Jo Floyd Lucas
Something extraordinary happened on my walk today.

I know this walking path quite well...I've walked it a hundred times or more. It's a peaceful path for the most part, with lovely trees, a pond, and benches every so often if one's in the mood for contemplation. It teems with wildlife, and I've occasionally felt I was in the midst of an animated Disney movie, with chipmunks, rabbits, birds, and deer scattering in front of me. I love walking here, and generally come away feeling refreshed and grateful for my bounty of blessings. I'm accustomed to the power of the beauty of the earth here.

Today was different. It rained last night. The air was charged with the moisture and the heft of the rain. I began my walk as usual, down the old familiar path, but felt more than the usual appreciation. My senses were heightened. The feel of the wet grass, the scent in the air, the birds calling to each all felt new.

I had been walking for a few minutes, watching with amusement a father and son baiting a hook to try their hand at fishing in the pond. Suddenly, I noticed something unfamiliar out the corner of my eye. Looking ahead on the path now, I noticed for the first time what I was approaching. There was a giant mass of white blossoms swaying in the breeze, as if beckoning me their way. Along the entire eastern border and around the curve of the path, thirty feet high, the waving wall of white called. I walked slowly, arms at my sides, gazing at this glorious display. Wild Honeysuckle, I guessed. I breathed deeply, and smelled the air dripping with their sweet scent. I felt myself enter their midst, and without thinking, I turned my palms outward as I walked. My arms raised, and I felt a jubilant rush. My arms went higher, and I gratefully pulled the scent and the spirit of the flowers to my breast.

I looked down at the path I was on, strewn with white flowers. Where had they come from? Surely not from the bushes I saw before me...they were still laden with flowers. I continued farther into the snowy path to the secluded corner of the trail. The air here was still. Heavy. So heavy with the sweetness of the scent. I walked slowly now, in respectful awe of this new experience. I felt embraced by flowers. Off in the distance I could hear children on the playground, traffic on the street down the hill. But here in this spot, I was alone with my Maker.

Then, out of the bough of a tree overhead, fell a small white bouquet, the tip of a branch of this flowering shrub, I guess. It landed directly in front of me. I stopped in my tracks. It was a beautiful little perfect nosegay. I picked it up and put it to my face, inhaling the magically sweet scent. What a gift I had been given! I rested there in that spot for several minutes, soaking in all that was around me.

As I composed myself and continued my walk, nosegay in hand, I heard myself say, "Lord, Gaia, Mother Earth...make me an instrument of Thy peace."

I have started down a new path in my life, much to my surprise. I'm uncertain where this path will lead. I know there will be obstacles, and I know I will need the help of friends to sustain me during my journey. But I know that I'm on the right path now, one which will lead to outward adventure and inward peace. I hope you'll travel with me occasionally.



    Honeysuckle: Spirit vision; The bond of love; Devoted love; Fidelity
    Generous and devoted affection

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  3. Jo I was so inspired by some of your "picture" sentences - and very glad to peek in on such beautiful writings!

    Your piece reminded me of a time driving to work and half listening to the book on tape, when I found words that were so incredibly descriptive I just had to memorize them, study them, BASK in the clever way a few sentences can capture a whole scene. I want to share this from Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (pg 762)Web:

    "...until at midnight when the streets are empty the storm goes thundering along them, rattling at all the latches, tearing at all the shutters, as if warning the people to get up and fly with it, rather than have the roofs brought down upon their brains.

    Still the red light is steady, nothing is steady but the red light.

    All through the night the wind blows and abates not. But early in the morning when there is barely enough light in the east to dim the stars, it begins to lull. From that time, with occasional wild charges,like a wounded monster dying, it drops and sinks; and at full daylight it is dead."

  4. Thank you, Nancy! I feel the same way about words and their each one has a soul of its own, expressing one tiny piece of infinite wisdome on its own.

    Thanks for the beautiful examples!

  5. Yes! It's like they are sometimes at the lowest common denominator...if you remove one, the entire meaning changes - just doesn't pulse. I feel like I am watching authors in progress here!

  6. hey would be like old times (what class was that?) but instead of debate, we'll collaborate. We've got an opening and are leaving the light on for ya...

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  8. Dubby, thank you for the invitation...I thought it over, but just cannot commit any more computer time to my life right now - or it would be official - I would not have a life beyond the computer. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to be asked - and I do hope that more Ruskinites join in to write their thoughts.

    I think that was Jr.HS English, Ms.Chapman's class debate about billboards, and if they should be outlawed? If so, then you followed me down the hall afterwards asking if I was mad at you? I wasn't - it was just that I was in shock after seeing the entire classroom change opinions so easily - show of hands for me one minute, then the next nothing! I went through a period of time later arguing my points of reasoning against emotion/emotional reactions - and really didn't like myself. Eventually I learned that I did not have to 'win' when factual information was trumped by emotional reaction. I still have to sit on myself from time to time - but really we are all emotional and intellectual - thank goodness! I learned to appreciate 'both sides now'.

    Thanks again for the invitation, just not right for me now (I did like the leaving the light on!).

  9. Nancy, I hope we can count on you for ocassional contributions in the way of poetry or songs...and of course, your insightful comments.

    Much love to you.

  10. Thanks Jo! You always make every online page seem so warm and so much like home!


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