A few months back, on one of those days when the skies would be sun drenched one moment and then open up and dump buckets of rain the next, I found myself trapped between my car and the door of the health food store when the rain came. Naturally, I didn't have an umbrella. But, I had sunglasses on. The car was too far behind me to run back to take cover and my destination seemed so far away. So, I ran ahead..through the parking lot....amid the ever bashing rain drops....hoping to reach the store with at least some of my hair and makeup intact. It wasn't to be. By the time I yanked open the door and plunged into the store, I was soaked---my hair was stuck to my head, my mascara was under my eyes and running down my cheeks and my clothes were swathed around my body--clinging to every roll and bulge. It was then, as I stood in the entry way, trying to shake off the weather, the lovely young woman who owns the store said "isn't it beautiful".....in a dreamy, lush and soothing voice. I looked up at her. She-- so fresh faced and serene. Me--so covered with mascara and wet hair and feeling oh so miserable. "What?" I barked at her in utter disbelief. I mean, there I was--wet from head to toe--my hair was stuck to my head....how would I ever get it to pouf up again, my mascara was running down my face--dear God, what did I look like and damn it...it was raining...a fierce, beating down rain. The skies--that had just been blue and sunny were now dark and gloomy. I mean, I had sun glasses on for heaven's sake...that's how sunny it was! What the hell could be so damn beautiful? "It's awful!" I said, trying to snap her back into reality. "No, it's wonderful," she purred....in that same dreamy tone. This time, she gently tilted her head and softly smiled, lovingly gazing out the window. "Yeah, well, I'm wet and cold, my hair looks like shit, my shoes are wet for chrissake, my make up is a complete mess and I still have more stops to make. So, uh...forgive me if I can't stand here and join you in your rain love fest" I thought to myself. With that, I left her to her weather-induced trance and headed to the back of the store to find my ridiculously expensive and horribly tasting, super-duper, mega-watt liquid vitamins. As I tramped back, my shoes gushed and squeaked, my hair drooped lifelessly, my eyes burned from the gooey mascara and water dripped from the bottom of the new purse I had just got for my birthday. I was not happy. Not happy at all.
As I pulled out some wet bills to pay for my vitamins, the lovely young owner smiled "these are the best" she said pointing to the bottle. "They taste horrible..." I responded. "They taste like the earth," she quipped...laughing a bit. "More like fish food..." I told her....remembering that's what I had said the first time I took them. She giggled a bit as she handed me my change and then with great exuberance, she said "Thank you! Have a great day!" Now, I had just paid entirely too much for something that tasted like fish food, my hair was stuck to my head, my make up was a mess, my shoes were most likely ruined and I was supposed to have a great day? I looked out at the still pouring rain and then back at her...."it's disgusting out there!" I told her. I mean, she had no idea! Was she covered in wet clothes, mascara and putrid hair? Did she have shoes filled with water? No, her hair was softly falling in little tendrils around her angelic, glowing face, her Birkenstocks were very comfy looking, her sweet dress was flowing from her graceful frame and her eyes looked fresh and peaceful. This was a dry woman. Did she offer me a towel? No! Instead, she extended her hand and, quite by surprise, she tenderly took my hand in hers. Ever so lightly, she pulled it closer. And then, with great warmth and care, she touched my wet, cold, shriveled palm with her soft, unadorned finger. She gave me a look of loving sympathy. Yet, I could tell...she was not giving me sympathy for my wet hair or dripping mascara. It was for something deeper. Maybe it was for my state of being, my emotional condition or for what she thought as my inability to see beyond the rain. I didn't know the secret and she felt sad about that. So, she wanted to clue me in. Her eyes glazed over a bit, her lips formed a soft smile and her head eased into her shoulders. ....whispering to me,"Rain....it cleanses." What the hell did she say?!!? Did I hear her right? Who knows. I was too busy thinking...."holy shit, I am standing here dripping wet, I'm freezing, it's raining like crazy out there, I have 3 more stops to make before I can even head home and this woman at the register is holding my damn hand....I gotta get out of here....."
It's been raining most the night here. There was a storm---with loud thunder and lightening. As I gazed out at the angry, deeply dark sky from the chair next to my bed, I wondered when it would stop. Now, it's almost daylight. The rain continues. The thunder is gone. All that's left is the rain.