Riding the Waves of a Rainstorm

Calm…
Breeze…
… Clouds darken – a shadow passes. It looks cold. It feels cold.
Spraying mist that can barely be seen in front of a dark backdrop.
Pre-rain… Passes.
Wind picks up – trees shudder.
I shudder.
I hear it before I see it – white noise – sounds like a loud or too close airplane.
I have to check to verify what that noise is.
I am surprised.
I am surprised at my surprise, amidst these storms that have been moving in and out, like waves on the ocean, day after day.
I feel curious.
Oh yes it’s rain – I am relieved to confirm what my intuition sensed.
I feel apprehension.
Noise gets louder. Looks like buckets of big fat raindrops have been dumped.
I stop everything and am mesmerized by the intensity of this storm.
I think it can’t get any heavier than it is.
This is a downpour.
Then it gets heavier.
And heavier still.
The raindrops now look like buckets-full drops of sheets and rivers of water.
I only see sheets of rain.
I feel the force of the water fall.
I feel afraid.
I check my ceiling to see if there are leaks, or are the windows being blown off?
A quick prayer – dear Home, please protect me from these powerful vicious elements.
My heart quickens.
My breath catches.
I am hyper vigilant.
My attention is grabbed by the rain that has now turned to hail.
Hail pounds down with strength and energy – hitting the fence and buildings; speeding to the earth; scattering it’s pebble mess all around the ground.
Hail everywhere.
Loud White Noise – blanketing everything.
THIS is a deluge.
THIS is a hail storm.
It is so LOUD.
Has it peaked yet?
I am fascinated and impressed by the storm.
I experience a bit of awe.
The power and beauty of Mother Nature.
The demand for respect…
(Maybe this is Mother Nature’s Version of Protest to the current inauguration)…
I am awestruck but I am also intimidated.
Images of being alone, on a little boat in the middle of a vast ocean, lost, and knowing I don’t swim very well.
I fear being capsized.
I notice huge trees blowing in the distance.
I remember the terrible conditions of the road, while driving through a similar such powerful moments-long deluge, and the fear and vulnerability I gripped the steering wheel with, while having my vision be blinded by the downpour and the up-splash of water everywhere.
I feel a sense of loss of control; drowning.
This is scary.
The rain/hail continues to beat down, pounding, enraged.
And I have reverence at the same time.
I check the roof again and I am grateful to not be on the road during this catastrophic mele of sudden storm.
Watching the rain again, I wonder if it will ever stop.
I can’t believe it’s intensity.
I am stunned.
I feel little, and a little forlorn.
I see how it could drench me or drown me.
I send prayers of safety to everyone else out there, on the road;
experiencing flooding, or leaks, or falling trees, or no shelter.
May the storm not overwhelm you.
If they fall, may the trees fall around you. And not on you.
May you be safe and dry. And warm.
Then as quickly as it started thundering down, this deluge pauses, as if taking a breath.
I take a breath.
Raindrops lighten.
I can’t tell if it’s raining still, or just after-rain. So much moisture in the air.
Rain noise has lessened.
I feel hope with the possibility of ease.
Sprays of mist, back dropped by dark trees.
Everything is full, brimming, running wild, flowing. Rivers everywhere.
Leaves glistening and shimmering in the breeze – heavy drops of water drip down.
Gentle sunlight. Things a little brighter, then shadowed again.
Pretty soon it’s steady bright.
Steam billows off the roof of the house next-door.
Trees shaking themselves off; moving toward the sun.
Sound of quiet after the rain.
Other background sounds are more present – airplanes, garbage truck, some hum of work tools being used – maybe by the construction crews already dealing with repairs necessary from the previous unrelenting storms, and already fallen trees.
I can’t shake the cold in my hands; my feet.
Bone cold.
I shiver.
Sun streams in and out – I feel optimistic, bright; then cold and shadowy again.
Even though the storm has passed, the feelings within me are still there.
Sounds of water dripping, trickling on the curbs or off of buildings.
I begin to feel peaceful.
Whew!
Relieved to have gotten through that.
A little more secure, now that that storm is behind me.
I wonder when the next deluge will hit again…
I have already forgotten about that deluge and can’t remember how all encompassing
it was.
I have to shield my eyes, the sun reflecting off the water everywhere is so bright.
I notice a deeper breath; a sense of security;
how much my feelings are affected by weather.
Mixture of white puffy clouds, blue sky in pockets, gray massive darkened clouds, grey sky with no definition – some clouds with no outline…
A hummingbird flies straight up about 2 feet suspended in mid air and furtively looks around, as if to send a warning about yet, the next storm.

The calm before the (next) storm….
The pitter patter of raindrops begins. I can almost count them…

This is an example of how you might follow the waves of emotions that come up. I was present to a particular deluge that occurred and I noticed what was going on out there, vis-à-vis my senses; and I paid attention to what was going on inside of me as I witnessed it. I noticed the gradual building, intensifying and peaking, of the downpour, and then the receding of the storm – much like the way strong emotions rise and fall; and not in a linear way. Like many emotions, the storm lasted only a couple of minutes. There were times throughout when I was tempted to latch on to a storyline about all the possible catastrophic events that could occur, and it was at times a bit of a struggle to keep coming back to the present and simply be with the intensity of the emotions and the storm. Sometimes waves of our emotions come on as suddenly and intensely as this storm, potentially knocking us over and making it difficult to make our way through the storm.

See if you can find a way to bring Mindfulness to the next storm of emotion you experience: pause, breathe into the storm of emotion, and be with it, knowing it’s like any other wave, and will ebb and flow, rise and fall, and surely pass.

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Listening with Heart
Cindi Rivera, MFT

Marriage, Family Therapist
www.cindiriveratherapy.com
criveramft@gmail.com
(510) 482-4445

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