What to do on a rainy day, we might ask ourselves, and recently here on the west coast of BC we have had many rainy ones. On one such dark and wet day a friend phoned to say she was tackling a long-overdue task, and shredding years of paper. The gift in the process was that she discovered a file of happy notes and jokes from former colleagues, which she shared during our call, resulting in much laughter. It was also a temporary reprieve for me as I was in the midst of reorganizing some furniture, paperwork, and deciding which kitchen items to donate ... did I need numerous small jam-pots for the next time I might prepare a traditional afternoon tea? I think not. Not having entertained for the past couple of years is leading me to a simpler lifestyle ... but it is an ongoing project.
Rainy days present lots of options: Curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, putting on an apron and heading to the kitchen to make soup or bake bread, or delighting in the laughter of young children as they happily splash in puddles. Perhaps, like our illustrated kitten, we might watch raindrops running down the windowpane and marvel how each drop is unique ... just as each one of us is! The late photographer and photojournalist, Alfred Eisenstaedt, said: I could stay for hours and watch a raindrop. A rainy day can be a good day to start something new, or a good day to complete something, like my friend with her paper shredding. Walking in the gentle rain, as I did last week, stirred up memories of how my father played golf most afternoons, rain or sunshine. This was in Northern Ireland, so we did have our share of rain.
Yet, let's not wait for a rainy day to fulfill an intention. Is there a phone call you have been meaning to make, correspondence you have been meaning to send? Just writing it down and marking it off when completed is very satisfying ... although I admit to having items on my calendar with an arrow pointing to the next day, and to the next! Let's not forget ourselves ... our greatest gift can be to pause, give ourselves self-care, in whatever way is our special therapy, and especially when in the midst of challenges and not knowing the answers. Theologian Thomas Merton suggested: You do not need to know precisely what is happening ... What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope. Haven't you been in that place? I certainly have, many times, and yet the right answer always showed up. So on the next rainy day, let's think of the words of country singer, Dolly Parton: The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain ... and just a few days ago in the Vancouver and surrounding area we had a magnificent double rainbow. While I didn't see it, I was drawn out to my balcony to stand in awe at the blue sky streaked with pink, with the sun shining brilliantly on a tall amber tree.
Now we are into November, winding down this year of 2021. For most of us the clocks changed, giving us longer evenings and shorter daylight hours. I thank you for the feedback you send when something speaks to you, not only but especially after last month's, The More We Look, the More We See. "Feedback is the breakfast of champions" is a quote attributed to Dr. Ken Blanchard, author of the One Minute Manager books. I started these Innisfree Moments back in 2009, shortly after receiving my ministry licence, and am amazed at the passage of time. Your thoughts, with the support of Larry Moss who magically comes up with the perfect illustration and transmits the newsletters to you, make it very much a team endeavour.
Until next time, please stay well, keep yourself safe and protected and, to my American friends, a very happy Thanksgiving on the 25th.
Blessèd be to you ... Namasté.
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada