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Plink—Plink—Plinkk—Plankkk … It was happening again—the raindrops—upon the chimney cover plate above me: soft, feathery at first, then pounding like hooves of galloping horses in the wilds. I hurried to the window and looked out. Not only would thirsty trees and shrubs benefit, but my psyche, always in need of deep watering, would thrive. Enthusiasm mounted. But that was weeks ago. In recent years prolonged dry spells have warded off such drenchings in our area.

This morning, though, an unexpected excitement seized me while listening to the radio: Cuban Landscape with Rain that was written by the Afro-Cuban composer and conductor Leo Brouwer. Despite the waning sun’s hastening dryness, for seven minutes it was raining in my study, thanks to the giftedness of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. I was saturated with Beauty. It felt good …

YouTube has many presentations of Cuban Landscape with Rain for your inspiration.

Outside my study windows, September evokes subtle leaf changes in my shrubs: the pickle-green lilacs, the laurel-green forsythia, the moss-green of the London plane tree, and the hunter-green of the snowflake verbena. All have lost their glossy coats, Spring’s gift, and will eventually cast them within stripping winds and pelting snow crystals. Yet, occasional root drenching-rains prolong this process like sparrows in slow motion.

I feel like one of these leaves: the loss of my greening-zest and its intrusion into my identity. But change, I must continue until properly stripped. This takes daily willingness, only wrought through prayer. Within each twenty-four hours, I draw courage from the shrubs, in their de-coloring and de-leafing, outside my windows.

Yet, lime-green berries flourish on my Christmas jewel holly, December’s chill reddening them through the winter months.

From my study window a soggy breeze weights a solitary leaf falling from the towering oak in my side yard and hurtles it toward the spent grass. Interminable moments pass until it is lodged within a muddy crevice, its bronzed face weeping, unattended, susceptible to even more desiccation.

Such begins autumn’s necessary stripping with its obvious parallels to human life—The outworn must give way to the new.

However, last July this truth imploded within my body as I lay on my dining room floor, my foot caught within the tubing of my vacuum cleaner. Howling pain bit chunks into my left shoulder, elbow, and hip. Unlike the solitary leaf, I needed help and fast.

It came: paramedics, surgery, rehab, physical and occupational therapy. Indeed, hundreds of helpers knocked on my door, each with their piece of the puzzle that would eventually restore me to wholeness.

Slowly, my body-mind-spirit began to knit through the prescribed exercises, that is, until mid-August when gnarly pain emerged in my hip. Multiple modifications of the stretches only worsened matters and I was back on pain medications. My suspicions mounted: the surgery had failed. I’m waiting to learn what will happen next.

 

 

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