02 November 2008


A cold rain knocks lingering autumn leaves to the ground, spatters up from the hard road, gathers on the windows. Kāhiko o ke akua - adornment of deity - in Hawaii. Bringer of life. Preserver of the land. Cleanser of evil spirits. World cultures dance, worship, revere and fear the rain.

More than 20 years ago, I lived in a metal-roofed single-wide trailer house in Layton, Utah, just outside the South Gate of Hill AFB immediately under the flight path of the southern runways and up against the rise of the Wasatch mountains. The years there were bittersweet, the joys and sorrows balanced in my memories, formative years of new awareness and self-discovery.

When I moved away to a suburban stretch west towards the Great Salt Lake, it took me awhile to identify what was missing among other things in the contained 2-story tract house with its double-paned windows, carpeted stairways and high trussed-roof: I could not hear the rain. It's deep patter, the audible measure of the storm, day or night, had become a comfort to me and a touchstone of peace.

Today I opened all the windows to listen to the rain, and a Red-shouldered hawk flew down from the roof to perch on top of the center bird-feeder and crow over the yard. Adorned with rain.

My very breath is my prayer of thanks and my awe.


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