I was standing with my mom, her arms wrapped around me, as we ducked under a tree away from the pea-sized sudden hail that threatened to pelt us. My mom takes any and every opportunity to hug her 20-something year old babies so it was natural for her to hug me in the hail. The hail that soon turned to rain wasn’t entirely unexpected as the sky had been gray and cloudy for most of the day.
However, I’m learning to not trust the skies in Colorado—as quickly as the rain appears (if it appears), it disappears. Nonetheless, I had boldly declared that I didn’t care if it rained on our walk; I just wanted to get outside. The thunder rumbled loudly, louder than I was used to. I was 10,000 feet closer to the sky than normal and I could physically hear the difference.
When the hail started, we veered off the park path to the tree. Shadow, my mom’s dog, was undisturbed as she continued to search for her next favorite stick (she picks a new favorite every 5 minutes or so). She pounced on a slender 8 foot long stick as the small beads of ice landed on her back. It wasn’t long before she was slick with wet. It wasn’t long, either, before I was slick with wet—my hair, my pants, my hands slowly dripped water droplets.
In those moments of hiding out from the hail we had to simply wait. In the waiting, we watched the hail fall diagonally and salt the earth. I listened to the beads tap, tap, tap against the leaves. I felt the temperature cool as the hail transitioned to raindrops. I smelled the earth become damp, as the dry bones of Colorado—its dirt paths, dusty trees, and yellowed grass—soaked up the wetness in silent exhilaration.
The wildfires nearby have stopped producing so much smoke, but the land is still dry, still seemingly barren in some places. Like me waiting with my mom under a wide tree for the hail to pass to continue on with our walk, the dusty Colorado ground has been waiting for the dryness to cease. It seeks a respite in the form of a downpour. No storm, certainly no lighting, just a good old fashioned heavy rain.
It’s not a stretch to say that this land has experience in waiting. From what I can tell, Colorado cycles through seasons of waiting and subsequent receiving every year. Most summers are characterized by waiting, fire bans, and thick brown dust on windshields. It’s a fact of creation to learn and know waiting.
As I consider that, why would my life be any different? I’m waiting for a few things right now and eager to already have those things. I sometimes think like I’m already there, neglecting what is right in front of me. It’s easier to do that—to look beyond the right now. But when I’m constantly looking behind, I’m more restless, uneasy, a bit unsettled.
The opposite of all of those adjectives is peace, grounding into the now. When I waited out the hail, I had no choice but to ground directly into the dusty earth and notice the physical things happening around me and inside of me. I watched the hail fall, I felt the shivers as the temperature cooled. And, I waited.
As I’m waiting now for the next things to happen, I am convicted to notice what is happening around me too, if for no other reason than the pursuit of peace and grounding. I’m looking in the now because that’s where I am, not quite yet in the beyond.
Bottom line: waiting is a fact of creation. How can we, humans, creations, wait well? Or, at the very least, in a way that doesn’t make us want to scream daily? Part of it has to be in the noticing what’s happening in the now; what we can see, taste, hear, touch. There’s good to come in the beyond, sure. There’s also good to noticed right now, even as we wait.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.
P.S. Peep below at Shadow wrestling that stick and us commiserating for my husband John who was much higher in the mountains than we were!
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