Tag Archive | rain

Bringing the Rain

Here in North America and in parts of the UK and beyond, many of us are sweltering under heat waves. I have been preparing a post with safety tips for surviving the heat, tips for things we can cook (if we even feel interested in eating) during this hot weather, and yet that post keeps forming and waiting in the Drafts area. My intuition is calling me to share this treasure that has meant so much to me through the years, and perhaps again this is an example of how poetry helps. If this story can bring entertainment, relief, and maybe even hope to one visitor here, it is worth it! Here is a story, about a story.

When my two boys were very young, the only TV-time was either a few choice children’s movies we played over and again, and certain programs on PBS. I miss Bill Nye The Science Guy and would’ve watched his show to this day, but a main favorite for all three of us was Reading Rainbow. Hosted by LeVar Burton, it featured famous people reading wonderful children’s books and truly bringing them to life. One day the episode was so special I was glued to the TV even more than my sons, who played quietly nearby with toys. This incredible story with gorgeous imagery and hypnotic poetry was narrated by the gloriously deep and melodious voice of none other than James Earl Jones.

Back then I didn’t have a VCR and had no way to tape that episode. However it haunted me in a most wonderful way. I tried my best to memorize parts of it, and recited them over and over for the next while. I suppose it’s not surprising really, that only a couple of weeks later during a visit to a favorite second-hand bookstore, I discovered this gem in the children’s section. I promptly memorized it and it became a favorite for my boys to request hearing. I still have that treasured book, along with several other cherished children’s books, waiting to share with grandchildren in my future, if I may be so lucky.

I wish to share this treasure with you today. If you have heard of it, I hope you enjoy this reminder and trip down memory lane. If this story is new to you, I truly hope you will enjoy. The YouTube video of the story being read by Mr. Jones is nothing short of spectacular, in my humble opinion, but please view to see (and hear!) for yourself.

Also included here are the words I’ve written out and a link to a PDF version to view the full book on your computer. And, because I like to include info for everyone, here is the link to view this book on Amazon.com as well as the ISBN info. May this story bring you joy, and hope of relief from heat waves.

Bringing The Rain To Kapiti Plain

Retold by Verna Aardema with Artwork by Beatriz Vidal
Publisher: Puffin (May 20, 1992)
ISBN-10: 0140546162
ISBN-13: 978-0140546163

View it here on Amazon.com ~ View it here in a complete pdf file
View it on YouTube (Highly recommended! 6 minutes that you have to witness and experience to fully understand its power and beauty)

This is the great Kapiti Plain,
All fresh and green from the African rains ~
A sea of grass for the ground birds to nest in,
And patches of shade for wild creatures to rest in;
With acacia trees for giraffes to browse on,
And grass for the herdsmen to pasture their cows on.

But one year the rains were so very belated
That all the big wild creatures migrated.
Then Ki-apt helped to end that terrible drought ~
And this story tells how it all came about!

This is the cloud, all heavy with rain, That shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain.
This is the grass, all brown and dead, That needed the rain from the cloud overhead – The big, black cloud, all heavy with rain, That shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain.

These are the cows, all hungry and dry, Who mooed for the rain to fall from the sky; To green up the grass, all brown and dead, That needed the rain from the cloud overhead – The big, black cloud, all heavy with rain, That shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain.

This is Ki-pat, who watched his herd As he stood on one leg, like a big stork bird; Ki-pat whose cows were so hungry and dry, They mooed for the rain to fall from the sky; To green-up the grass, all brown and dead, That needed the rain from the cloud overhead – The big, black cloud, all heavy with rain, That shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain.

This is the eagle who dropped a feather, A feather that helped to change the weather. It fell near Ki-pat, who watched his herd As he stood on one leg, like a big stork bird; Ki-pat whose cows were so hungry and dry, They mooed for the rain to fall from the sky; To green-up the grass, all brown and dead, That needed the rain from the cloud overhead – The big, black cloud, all heavy with rain, That shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain.

This is the arrow Ki-pat put together, With a slender stick and an eagle feather; From the eagle who happened to drop a feather, A feather that helped change the weather.

It fell near Ki-pat, who watched his herd As he stood on one leg, like a big stork bird; Ki-pat whose cows were so hungry and dry, They mooed for the rain to fall from the sky; To green-up the grass, all brown and dead, That needed the rain from the cloud overhead – The big, black cloud, all heavy with rain, That shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain.

This is the bow, so long and strong, And strung with a string, a leather thong; A bow for the arrow Ki-pat put together With a slender stick and an eagle feather; From the eagle who happened to drop a feather, A feather that helped change the weather.

It fell near Ki-pat, who watched his herd As he stood on one leg, like a big stork bird; Ki-pat whose cows were so hungry and dry, They mooed for the rain to fall from the sky; To green-up the grass, all brown and dead, That needed the rain from the cloud overhead – The big, black cloud, all heavy with rain, That shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain.

This was the shot that pierced the cloud And loosed the rain with thunder LOUD! A shot from the bow so long and strong And strung with a string, a leather thong; A bow for the arrow Ki-pat put together With a slender stick and an eagle feather; From the eagle who happened to drop a feather, A feather that helped change the weather.

It fell near Ki-pat, who watched his herd As he stood on one leg, like a big stork bird; Ki-pat whose cows were so hungry and dry, They mooed for the rain to fall from the sky; To green-up the grass, all brown and dead, That needed the rain from the cloud overhead – The big, black cloud, all heavy with rain, That shadowed the ground on Kapiti Plain.

So the grass grew green, and the cattle fat! And Ki-pat got a wife and a little Ki-pat – Who tends the cows now, and shoots down the rain, When black clouds shadow Kapiti plain.

Pondering Tears

Tears fall like droplets

on outside leaves against my window

grey pressing down

heart heavy down

feeling foolish and faltering

falling down like tears and droplets

 

Growing sometimes happens sweet

like a spring day blissful

realization bursts through as a sunbeam

filling my heart with warm understanding

as sunshine blankets a forest glade

 

Other times learning feels of birthing

messy and painful pushing

knowing there is a joyful gift after the pain

remembering the diamond under the mud

I dig through and push past

my insistent and foolish

resistance to growth

 

I’ve heard it said

when our hearts break

is not from the love we’re not given

but by the love we are refusing to give

 

That I can cry like a child

feeling tiny and frail

being a ‘sensitive little thing’

yet knowing the mirror reflects

an outer housing akin

to an Amazonian

makes me laugh at myself through the tears

 

forever a child

a tall elf growing

not always sunny

tears and rain must sometimes fall.

~

Copyright © 2012 Professions for PEACE

Image source: http://my.opera.com/ 

In praise of old trucks

Several years ago I made up my mind: I was finished with tenting. As much as I adore camping and being out there immersed in wind, sun, rain, trees, and fresh air… the lumpy mattress woes and worries of elk tripping and spooking on the tent cords had done me in. It was time to move on up! It was time for a truck and camper.

I knew I was looking at older trucks because I had a very limited budget. I’ve always had a fondness for rugged tough-as-nails trucks anyways. The first standard I learned on at the tender age of 12 was a big ol’ green truck with a stick-shift on the floor. I asked if I could, so my dad got me started and I was more than eager to drive around that harmless pasture. He knew that tough truck could easily handle my occasional stalls and mis-gears. So when it came to searching out a treasure with my twenty-five hundred dollars, I was completely ready to find a tough old truck.

After scouring ads in the papers for weeks, I noticed a phone number being repeated in many ads. After calling I learned they were a small business purchasing old fleets when businesses were upgrading. I headed their way and drove my car into the rough and bumpy lot. Poor car. This lot was much better suited to a truck. There were dump trucks and flatbeds and pick-up trucks everywhere, scattered about in a rough semblance of a parking lot. As I pulled in I wondered how or where I’d find ‘Jim’ the friendly fellow I’d spoken with on the phone. But as I parked next to a hap-hazard row of trucks, a large kindly man approached my car, wiping his hands on a rag. Reminded me of my dad, except subtract many years.

With my tight budget there were only three trucks that day and I still remember them all. A black and red automatic Ford, with a topper and a few ‘bells & whistles’ like power windows and “Tasmanian Devil” accessories and mats. Not feelin’ it. Next truck: a green Chevrolet bench seat automatic. Long box. Very plain, no personality. How else to say it? This wasn’t the one. Finally, the last one, a bit over budget since they were hoping to get $3K for it, but maybe if I could do $2600, was a white giant that drew my eye the moment I drove onto the lot. As we walked closer to this Chevrolet Cheyenne 2500, I saw it had a bumper sticker with a photo of a coyote and a speed limit sign, with the words: “Slow down. Their lives depend on it.” I loved it already. As I walked around the side to open the driver’s door, I could see the glue remnants of the PARKS CANADA letters wearing off the rear side window. This was feeling more like my truck.

I pulled the door open and it groaned and squeaked and asserted its weight as it clunked open. The terribly torn seat on the front corner of the driver’s side didn’t faze me one bit, even though I was in shorts on that hot August day. I ignored the torn corner and eagerly slid behind the huge steering wheel. It was a standard, with 4-on-the-floor… and a 4×4. What joy! I felt an impulse I can hardly describe, that I somehow knew this truck was perfect for me… just what I’d been looking for to haul landscaping supplies and later, to haul my camper once I found one. Jim handed me the keys, unable to hide his surprise at my enjoyment of this big beauty. A ¾ ton crew-cab with the back seat and stereo ripped out. A huge spare tire with change-kit filled the space behind the split-bench front seat. I didn’t care about anything except that I loved it. Having been a government fleet vehicle, it had been very well cared for. I took it for a test-drive, and my teen son who’d accompanied me on this adventure of truck shopping, enjoyed how it beeped when in reverse as if it was a REALLY big truck.

I bought that big beauty that day. While I strive to live ‘green’ and do what I can to conserve and reduce consumption… I adore my big truck. The small, energy efficient car is used for the travels around the city we have to make. The truck sits and waits for special occasions. Summertime projects such as moving rocks for the garden, moving things for loved ones, and camping. Ah camping, that glorious time to enjoy our own little spot of wilderness. Which I enjoy immensely with my reliable truck and the nice second-hand camper I bought after the truck. I am truly blessed. Thank you God. I give thanks for living near the Rocky Mountains and for the gorgeous campgrounds only an hour from my home. I give thanks for the cozy bed and snug security in my little ‘portable’ home. And I especially give thanks for that wonderful old truck of mine.

Image source: Seth Duffey photos www.leavethatthingalone.com

May Day Gratitude

My heart is overflowing with gratitude… even more than usual on this delightfully rainy first day of May. Upon waking this morning, I gave immediate thanks to God for the songbirds enjoying the trees, shrubs, water and food sources in my yard. I am thankful to live very close to a forested park preserve with a mighty river running through it, which helps support the variety of birds I enjoy having in my neighbourhood. Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God! 

Every morning I enjoy doing my prayer ritual with more than words. I speak aloud, and then spend moments in quiet. Feeling the essence of gratitude rising in my heart, my mind, my very being. Knowing the truth taught by Meister Eckhart seven hundred years ago: “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you’ that would suffice.”  ~ Meister Eckhart

While I am an appreciative person, feeding my faith with a steady diet of gratitude, today I am especially brimming with thankfulness.

After praying and feeding the pets, I fussed over my two trays of bedding plants and perennials brought into the house a bit too late last night. They had endured being snowed on! I was remiss in noticing the rain had become frozen pellets so they came into the house instead of the cold garage. Thankfully my annuals are cold-tolerant pansies, snapdragons, and English ivy. The perennials are all spring plants too: Pasque-flower (Pulsatilla), English Cowslip (Primula veris), and Periwinkle (Vinca minor). After a warm night to thaw indoors they’re doing fine and are back outside. The inherent resilience of these little beauties brings me more reason to give thanks.

The morning dog walk was also an opportunity for thankfulness. My Nikki-girl is a delightful ‘rescue-dog’ who constantly warms my heart. I give thanks for adopting her. Her joyful enthusiasm for the ball I throw makes me laugh out loud. I am thankful to have an off-leash dog park to play in, only one block from our place.

Upon returning home I felt inspired to pull on my gloves and do some weeding. The rain had stopped for a while and I felt inspired. The moist soil would make it easy to pull little grass clumps or dandelion sprouts that have been daring up between the perennials. As I got to my task, a rhythm began: balance on stepping stones, brush back mulch, grasp weed base, twist and pull, toss to pile. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I was appreciating all of it. The birds being animated all around me, flying overhead from tree to tree, singing as I worked. Disturbed worms stretching out fully as they slowly hurried to escape my ministrations to the garden bed. Discoveries of tiny perennial survivors of this Zone 3 garden, pressing their precious green leaves out of the ground. I just kept weeding and weeding, loving every minute of it.

Amidst this deep gratitude and peace, the words of seventeenth-century Brother Lawrence came to mind. I couldn’t remember the quote exactly but the essence was, I do not even pick up a straw from the ground but for the love of God. I felt like I was weeding that way: every movement was for the love of God.

When I came inside, I researched to find the correct quote from Brother Lawrence. In the end I found that one plus another by him that also resonates with me. There are more quotes here about gratitude to share today. I hope you enjoy.

May your May Day be joyous, and filled with reasons to say ‘thank you’.

“We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for the love of Him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before Him, Who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick but a straw from the ground for the love of God.” ~ Brother Lawrence 

“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?” ~ Brother Lawrence

“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

“Great Spirit, I begin the month of May filled with gratitude for the increase in the light that brings forth life from my soul and from the earth. May my heart be fertile ground for the sprouting of your Godseed, that I may be of loving service to my family, my community, and all beings.” ~ Joan Borysenko (Pocketful of Miracles)

Shining From The Inside Out

Today the weather is cool and grey. Spring is pressing a heavy white sky down with imminent rain that just keeps waiting. I wish it would fall. My mood always perks up when the spring showers start. Maybe I’m like a plant that way. When the rain starts I shall take my dog for a walk. Let us both feel the rain in our hair.

Today my heart is brimming with hope. The weather outside is cool and grey and I am filled with ideas. And hope. This is a great day to work from home with design and writing, and to take a wee sidetrack seeking out other positive thinkers. I am finding them everywhere I look! Wonderfully amazing websites and blogs filled with inspirational ideas and beautiful images. I want to fill my site with links to these wonderful people sharing their hearts and their souls. This is a great year. I can feel it. Things are improving everywhere I look.

I know I am an optimist. I do see the glass half full. I know the sun is always shining, even when I cannot see it behind the clouds.

I choose to live this way because without hope, without looking for the bright and the good, well I’d hardly be able to get out of bed. And while I still have tough times, my morning gratitude ritual has helped immensely. Even if I can hardly say more, I can always say: Thank you God, for this day. As Dr. Wayne Dyer writes of, I do not want to merely cope. I want to thrive. I choose to shine!

SHINE 

Life is a wondrous miraculous gift,

Remembering this gives my spirits a lift;

Raising me out of my worldly mind,

Helping me feel peaceful and kind;

I let go of what is cruel and untrue,

So my inner beauty may now shine through;

Claiming my birthright to be truly free,

Ignites within me a divine energy;

I now receive all the gifts that are mine,

The reason I’m here is to let myself shine!

As I let my love for life be unfurled,

I’m taking action towards healing the world.

Gina and Professions for PEACE © 2000-2012