Joni Mitchell’s lyrics, “I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now” plays in my mind this morning. It’s a mid-March Spring Equinox day and it’s raining. No wind, no thunder, the threat of tornadoes low. A soft rain, light, just rain. The willow, newly leafed into green lace, dips its head to show off the neighbors red bud tree, ripe with color, behind it.
This morning’s readings, this Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, are all about water too: the Sheep Pool from the gospel in John where Jesus heals a crippled man because, well, he’s crippled and can’t get to the water when it’s “stirred up”; and the mighty river in Ezekiel that starts small but becomes , “a river through which I could not wade.”
This day of soft rain will reach a troubling phase later in the week. The biggest part of this storm won’t even arrive for three more days, the same storm that dropped two feet of snow in Flagstaff, Arizona. Flood warnings are posted.
Water: a blessing and a danger. One of those too much of a good thing is too much things.
Yesterday, I reposted a blog by Elizabeth Schurman, “Snakes and Ladders.” If you haven’t read it, you can find a link to it on the right. She writes that the thing we’re most afraid of, if we look at it and look at it and look at it, we can deal with it.
Years ago, when we first saw this house and walked up the sloping yard, my mind automatically registered “it won’t flood,” floods being one of my childhood fears because my father died in the months after bringing his rowboat over here to help with the great Kansas City flood in the early 50s.
Interesting the bad/good contradictions we all carry for some of the simplest things. Growing up on a farm, rain was a blessing, a day to pause the work, but it also meant the farmyard got really mucky. And wet chicken smells? Not the same as smelling early spring tulips, let me tell you!
The Chinese say yin/yang. And that’s about it. The living with both sides because both sides is what we have.