Be still, and listen.
“Heavenly King, Consoler, Spirit of Truth, present in all places and filling all things . . .” --Trisagion prayer
“For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” --Jesus, Mt 5:45
Dinner’s done. Julie is studying her theology. I’m tired of reading, and I certainly don’t want to watch the Nationals kick the ball around the diamond. I am bored.
Something reminds me I haven’t prayed today (outside of the morning Trisagion and petitions). And now that same something is putting it in my head to pray outdoors . . . but it’s raining.
The porch won’t work, since Julie is studying at the dining room table adjacent. So, I open the front door and stand on the stoop, shielded enough from the rain, but outside nonetheless.
Then something (again) tells me “Be quiet for once. Don’t petition, don’t . . . anything. Just look. And listen.”
I have no poetic bent to describe with any sublimity what I’m experiencing. But this is what I am seeing and hearing.
Dark green surrounded by a mix of dark and light grays: The black maple in front of me, the towering oaks and silver maples across the street, between and behind the neighbors’ houses. Low, dark clouds moving beneath a lighter cloudy sky.
The maple leaves in front of me drooping as water drips from their tips slowly but steadily.
And the neighborhood is quiet. No traffic, no leaf blowers. It is cool, so even the neighbors’ perpetually droning air conditioners are off.
And I stand here. I listen and watch some more. I think about life—not its meaning, not my life, just life. Life, animation. And water, coming from the sky, soaking the earth, flowing through the trunk of my maple—life blood.
The rain is ending slowly—everything grows silent but the dripping from the trees. Sometimes steady, sometimes in a rush when the wind stirs the leaves.
I wait. How long . . . five minutes, more? In the distance at first but growing nearer, a chorus of frogs. As if they were rejoicing from the showers.
And then I can’t help myself: “Thank You for rain, for watering the earth. Thank You for Your trees and for frogs . . . for life. Heavenly king, Consoler, Spirit of Truth, present in all places and filling all things, Treasury of Blessing and Giver of Life, come dwell in us, cleanse us of all stain, and save our souls, O Good One.”
I stand a few moments more, make the sign of the Cross, and go inside.