by Leah Clouse
We’ve gotten a lot of rain lately. Rainy summer days are disappointing, but I’ve noticed that something wonderful happens when it rains. Sure, everything gets wet, and sometimes you have to brave the monsoon in order to save your potted plants before they drown. But when the powdery white clouds give way to their looming gray counterparts, I can’t help but feel relieved. “It’s here”, I think. No more waiting.
In the moments (sometimes hours) that proceed a storm the trees hold their breath; and so do I. There’s a calm of uncertainty as the branches hold tight in the wind. “Will it pass over?”, we all wonder together.
It doesn’t always. Some days the storm rages on through the night. But sometimes, it breaks just long enough to dash to your car. I’ve never been the type to wait it out. You cautious types might be inclined to hole up and stay safe; but I’ve found that being a doubter/wanderer compels you to live up to the job description– even when it’s not particularly safe or prudent.
In those moments that I’m dodging raindrops, praying that I won’t be smashed under the weight of the collapsing sky, I’ve tried to be more aware of those around me. Plato said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
I like to think my battles have made me kinder. I’ve come to believe that more than anything else, it’s my job to be kinder than I am mean. To be more graceful than judgmental. To be quiet when the world is loud and to say too much when there are people who can’t say a word.
I think we’re like the trees, holding a collective breath for humanity. Branches entwined, we belong to each other. I’ve been living my life this way in the absence of my pre-doubt faith. It may not be dogma, but it’s made me better and I think sometimes that’s all we can ask.
This is Leah Clouse. She tries on new ideas and experiences like others try on outfits. She’s a painter, a nanny, and a baker. Less notably, she’s a doubter, a worrier, and a wanderer. Wife to Paul and mother hen to the Clousey animal brood Ego, Karma and Cornelius.