A grey hand slaps the sky. The clouds are disturbed, scudding to corners. There is a sudden silence like the one that precedes the answer to a question that might change the course of someone’s life. And then the rain comes. Fierce, scavenging every corner of the trees and earth, plunging into crevices not even a breath could slide into.
Water is a shape shifter. It can be anything it wants. Smooth, calm, glass. Choppy, writhing, juddering mess.
Wash me away, I think.
A little leaf from the stringybark tree, pointed as a canoe gets caught in the stream running down the laneway. It falls, taken aback, trying to steer itself away from the torrent, but it is pulled without mercy through the bubbling, muddy water.
Bon voyage, little leaf. I think.
Rain like this could wash sins away. Doubts would fall prey to it. Fears too. As the rain fills every square metre of the sky it becomes all I can see. All that matters.
Give me a sign, I said today.
It is a ritual I have when days are darker than they should be. When negative feelings follow like shadows.
I work so hard on keeping my head in the right place – positive, happy me – that when the lure of that black net crosses my line of vision I want to panic. Or give up. It takes more diligence to be happy than it does to be sad. I know that for sure. No matter how high that tower of Happy Happy is constructed there is always someone, something there waiting to pull it down.
So I ask for a sign. That it’s going to pass. That I don’t have to succumb. That all the hard happy, positive work has made me stronger.
Strange thing is, I don’t know what the sign is when I ask for it. By the time I see the sign and recognise it for what it is I have almost forgotten I asked for it.
Today a butterfly came to the garden. Late afternoon. A large black and white. I think it’s a Common Crow. Horrible name for such a beauty. Unusual for this time of year when the weather is colder too. She settled on the hot pink camellia bush. I could sense her exultation. She knew she was a bringer of joy.
An hour later the rain came. Washing all the bad feelings away that had been clinging like smoke. It wasn’t until the rain gathered in dark green pools on the grass, shape shifting under each blade that I knew I had my sign. Two in fact.
For each dark mood that comes there is a light one that follows. It seems to be the way of things. I just need to learn to remember that. I need to remember that moments of darkness can shape shift to light just as easily as the rain. Washing gloom away.