I left work for the day with a friend and got covered in cold rain. I don’t mind usually, but I was tired, and decided I’d had enough of cold for one winter.
I made a grumpy sound, but she said, “It’s lovely,” drawing out the “o” as if describing caramel. I pulled her sleeve to drag her into it properly, and hid under the awning to pull up my hood. She turned her face up to receive every icy drop.
“I know,” I said, “but not now.” The river was heaving full and curiously green, there were even two swans, but I just wanted to be home and warm.
We walked a while and she said something that sounded like “ice cream,” but I couldn’t hear through the hood. I exposed just one ear and heard the tune of an ice cream van. My head was bare then, the better for hearing that treasured summer sound, and I realised the rain had stopped. Ice cream did still seem a little incongruous, but just that garish tune ignited hope, and I remembered summer’s inevitability.
In time there’ll be sun that we can feel and not just see. Our senses will greet the growl of lawn mowers and the scent of mown grass, and the only ice will be in chunks in a glass. We’ll walk on the patio barefoot and hear laughter and music over the fences, watch swallows climb so high in the blue we can hardly make out their wings. We’ll eat too many strawberries, and chat in our shirtsleeves until the bats come at ten or eleven, and stems of honeysuckle remember their dearest fragrance.
In winter, summer seems almost unimaginable, and in summer so does winter. It’s like consciousness, don’t you think? After meditation everything seems so simple and peaceful, and I can’t imagine how it all seemed so completely otherwise before. I think how silly I was to create divisions, and to make myself miserable worrying about things that are out of my control, and to remind myself of the countless mistakes I’ve made.
I’m always amazed at how my inner weather can change so quickly through meditation - from the most turbulent and inclement to balmy and spring-like. At least inner clemency is something we can control... sometimes... with God’s Grace...
Sumangali MorhallMarch 2005