I asked my sister how she is a river. How she runs so calm, smooth, and deep within her own being, contented in who she is and confident in who she is becoming, even when the water is churning, moving with the deepest trust to where she’s going even when the bends never cease, and the straightaways never last long. She has a simplicity of self, an undercurrent of carefree purpose, a steady flow forward through life. She can wax poetic about the beautiful way it unfolds, spend her time meandering in the sweet details, reveling all the while in how she is held by the earth on either side. She knows without needing to understand or see, the inevitable oneness of everything.
And I told her, I feel like rain. Perpetually in a state of almost-becoming, of rising and falling, of pulling together and coming apart. Suspended but never fully aloft, grounded but never exactly touching down. The ocean of my being seems forever separated into a million droplets, each one so potentially capable of form that I’m never quite sure of my own, as a whole.
To be my self is to be every raindrop at once, which I cannot do. I want to take every shape, I want to flow in every direction. Instead I settle for partiality and envy those with clearer, fuller definition. I see them in all their embodiments of water and I do not really know how to be among them without conforming or disappearing altogether.
As rain I am constantly too much and also, never enough.
Those who know me are lovingly indifferent to this endless partly-cloudy identity crisis of mine. They are unperturbed by the shifting incompletenesses that keep me awake at 3am.
They look at me and say, of course you’re rain, you’re a pleasant spring shower. You are a life-bringer, you’re warm and you give hope, the flowers like you and the sun still shines around you. My dear why fret?
They don’t know that the only time I am not fretting is when I’m not thinking at all, and it’s rare, but occasionally I will forget about water and rain and just be immersed.
At all other times I need to understand and see, what I already know with every drop of my being: the inevitable oneness of everything.
I shared my post about rain on social media and a dear friend responded with this beautiful, poetic message. It is the positive flip of my scattered perspective and it is so very lovely and moving. Reading it calms me, brings me back to center and a sense of peace with the process of becoming.
And the river looks longingly up to the sky and says “Oh, I wish that I was the rain, that I could travel the world on the wind, break the bonds of my banks, that I could make rainbows and moonbows. Sure, I can speed up and form boiling rapids, or slow down into meandering eddys. I can become waterfalls or dancing springs, but RAIN! Oh the endless joys and possibilities if only I were rain.” And as the rain wished to be a river and the river longed to be rain, they realized that they were the same. That someday the sun would shine upon the river and warm her, would raise her into the sky and cast her to the far reaches of the earth. She would fulfill her destiny in a million different ways, as a bright and sparkling rainbow over green mountains, as a wind-blown mist lighter than air, as dark clouds and brilliant diamonds in the sun. The rain would gather herself together as she fell to the earth. Finding her footing as small brooks and springs, each day growing stronger, more powerful and more secure within her banks. She would carve great histories into the earth, would feed the great plains and provide a home and embracing arms for multitudes. The rain and the river would discover that they are one, just in different points in their journey.”.
🎶 Listen to:
Falling Water by Peter Oren