Photo by Zoltan Voros, Flickr Creative Commons
Yesterday was a long day. By the time I got up from my desk and put on my shoes to take a walk it was nearly 8pm. The sky was gray and evening had slipped into that slow slink toward dusk. Traffic was thin. Lights inside houses clicked on. I was thinking about the magic of life and how, on days like this one, it can feel so far away. I get caught up in small things, stress over my human desires. I focus on the maddening gap between where I am and where I want to be without stopping to be thankful for how far I’ve come. Sometimes I feel like the magic that used to shimmer full-force into my eyeballs can now only be glimpsed in my peripheral vision, a shadow slipping between rooms. Did I just see that? I know it is still here, as it has always been, sending sparks out through the darkness. But it has been too long since I have stopped to watch it glow.
As I walked last night I vowed to pay magic more attention.
Well, wouldn’t you know it? Twenty minutes into my walk the sky opened up. Ohio does not mess around with her rain. Into my head popped a line I’d read in a Jen Sincero book: “The Universe must be like, what more do I have to do to wake these bitches up? Make water, their most precious resource, rain down from the sky?”
The drops splattered the sidewalk and shook the great green leaves in the trees. I remembered a night in New Orleans when I got caught in the rain. I remembered an evening in Ecuador. I remembered an afternoon in Portland, walking back from a meeting, soaked down to my skin in my business clothes. I remembered every time like this one, too few to be honest, when instead of dodging drops I tilted my face to the sky and greeted that miraculous downpour.
I remembered, too, years ago, a rainy day out hiking in Forest Park. I came upon a woman, mud up to her knees. “There’s negative ions in the air when it rains,” she told me. “They change your energy.”
I walked last night and the rain fell down around me, warm and wet. “I see you,” I said out loud to the Universe.
And I did.
And I do.