The rain that pounds through leaves a sea of color in its wake. The flowers in my garden lift cup-like faces; let rainwater coax petals open—drink.
I am at work when the storms pass through—in the day room, testing a patient. He hears it first—that low long rumble–his hands slow on the puzzle in front of him and he lifts eyes.
That was a big one, he says.
We leave the puzzle behind.
I wheel him to the window and we watch the wet lash the concrete patio—listen to growling sky. The wind blows the rain horizontal and I hear him draw breath quick as the sound of rushing water beats overhead. My pulse quickens too.
My favorite time is right before a storm, when the air is filled with anticipation. The very breath I breathe is heavy with unshed tears and I inhale energy.
We sit in shelter as the drum beats life all around us. I feel the power of his spirit unleashed even as he struggles against the wheelchair that holds up his body.
The rain slows and the moment passes and we go back to the day room—finish the puzzle and all the question asking and figuring. I wheel him back to his room and he talks about flooding in Logan and wonders if his daughter will be stranded and not able to come visit.
I think, Mercy! I didn’t bring an umbrella.
I walk the long hallway back to my office and I score up his tests and others—work quietly in the fading of the day. It has been a long one. I try to let go. My neck is stiff, my shoulders tight.
I need a new job, I think, as I shuffle piles and piles of paper…make mental notes about progress notes I still need to write. When I leave the hospital, the sun is shining bright, illuminating diamonds scattered on the sidewalk. I skip over puddles.
At night I dream I am having a passionate affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. We flee the country to get lost in each other’s arms. I am deciding to stay with him. Leave my husband and children.
It’s the book I’m reading, Loving Frank, same story. In my dream, I weep and weep. How can I leave my children? But in the dream world, reality creeps in. I stand with Frank and remember…I love my husband.
And I awaken to color glistening with dewdrops all over my backyard.
I go outside to feel the colors breathe. I kneel down close. Two bumblebees are busy gathering nectar. I look and see that one has big balls of yellow pollen on his knees. How can he fly so free with that heaviness cleaving tight to him? But he does…he goes about his business, doesn’t even realize what precious gifts he leaves behind.
Jeffrey comes to me, tells me a story about a game he has invented. I cannot hear his words—I only see his face. The grief of the dream–of leaving him–is still fresh and my heart skips a beat and I trace his cheek with my finger as he talks. I try not to cry. He turns his head sideways and tries to nip at my fingers. He wants me to listen.
But I have to work. It’s travel season. That means it’s accident season and our case load is busting at the seams. I drop Jeffrey off at music camp on my way to Charleston. He hugs me goodbye and by the way his hands linger I know he is glad it is Friday.
So am I.
I drive up 60 along the river and feel the shimmer of morning sun on water. I think about the things I take for granted—my boys, my love, my legs and hands…And I pray.
Colors swirl in my mind—the sweet gifts of summer.I wonder about the mystery of buzzing about…about secret pollination and what sweet beautiful things can grow from it. I wonder what I unknowingly leave behind as I carry this heavy weight.
It’s time to begin another day.
Hey! No one has emailed me yet about winning the copy of L.L. Barkat’s book, God in the Yard. The plan is to create a book journey, passing it from one hand to another in good will. Interested? Just drop me a line at email@example.com.