Behind the clouds the sun is shining,
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life a little rain must fall.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
|Simplon Pass: Reading - John Singer Sargent|
Watercolor, 1911, Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Yesterday morning, as if on cue from some heavenly director, the skies spilled out a cold steady stream of rain. Caring for my still-sick Little Beauty (please go away, Ivan the Terrible), I watched from the window all day as the unceasing droplets descended from the sullen winter sky. Sometime around mid morning I realized it was high time to acknowledge this period of rain in my life.
|Rain From the Window|
Into each life, I thought. Better to recognize the downpour and open an umbrella than to bury my head and pretend it's not raining.
It's raining. Cats and dogs. Literally and metaphorically. Whoever first said, "When it rains, it pours" was absolutely right, and I'm soaked to the skin right now.
|Scheveningen Women and Other People Under Umbrellas|
Vincent Van Gogh Watercolor, The Hague,1882
Ultimately, though, this is not about me. This is about several very important people in my life who are going through serious health crises, and the ripples caused by these disturbances. Three...three are locked in serious battles with cancer. Another dear one is experiencing life threatening difficulties caused by Cystic Fibrosis.
All men, all dear to me for one reason or another, each of them is way too young and way too undeserving of such difficulties. The ripples reach from parents to spouses to children and grandchildren and friends and others, eventually crashing into the concentric ripples of the others.
Word came late Monday from My Twin, a physician, who had spoken to the doctors concerning their investigation into our mother's recent falls and encroaching dementia within the last few months. The neurologist has diagnosed ALS (Lou Gherig Disease) or similar progressive neuropathy. One test remains before putting a period after the diagnosis.
Within forty-eight hours, we've gone from wondering how our mother's health could decline so rapidly, to moving her to a skilled nursing center, to discussions about hospice care. It sort of boggles the mind.
And so, I'm enterting a rainy season. As Longfellow said, it's the common fate of all. I know the sun will return in due time. I think when it does, I will take my mother out into its radiance and read some lovely books and poetry to her, just as in the beautiful John Singer Sargent watercolor painting pictured above. Watercolor. How perfect.
For now, though...for just a little while,...I must honor the rain.
Today I wish for you to know that "behind the clouds, the sun is shining."
The music selection today is Eric Whitacre's "Cloudburst" sung by The Tower Choir. Many of you may know Whitacre as the composer behind the virtual choir production of "Lux Aurumque". He is a brilliant, inventive, 21st century composer with classical taste. I think he's fabulous.
Please be patient as you listen to the storm clouds build during the first few minutes. The harmonies are amazing. The cloudburst appears after the five minute mark, when the singers and musicians employ everything from finger snaps, bells, drums, claps, and voices to produce the wind and rain. Listen, and you will see the droplets which fall and cause those overlapping, concentric ripples. Enjoy.