The forest is especially amazing in these times of renewal. Before the rain arrives you can hear the creatures large and small preparing to wait out the storm. The birds grow quiet in expectation, seeking sheltering holes in which to hide. The squirrels chatter loudly as they scurry about, hiding the last nut or chasing away the last trespasser, then suddenly disappear in silence. There is a moment of anticipation in which the smell of pent up energy waiting to be released permeates the air causing your spine to tingle and your heart to slightly speed its beat for it knows what is about to come.
And then it comes.
Furious and strong, the storm brings us to wonder at the sheer power of our God. The wind thrashes the trees, spurring them into a frenetic dance of agony and ecstasy. The rain pelts the leaves, the bark, the stones, in noisy splishes and splashes that surround you with the voices of a great throng, the sound of many waterfalls, the sound locusts wings, and the sound of the sea all at once. In a symphony of light and sound it reminds us how small we truly are, performing a holy shadow play that blinds us with the light of His face and deafening us with the thunder of His voice.
As surely as the glory of the Most High humbles us, His grace comforts us: we feel His love in the mild, gentle, rain that follows the chastening storm. The rain showers the earth with the clear and sweet nectar of life; crystal yet liquid, nearly tasteless, but bearing that subtle and exotic flavor of the clouds. It splashes off the leaves making patterns and rhythms. Few are the drops that make it to the earth having missed every obstacle in their fall from heaven, yet each have their own identity that they sing to make a music, fast and slow, splashing and flowing through the many levels of the arbor in a Hymn to the Giver of all good gifts.
After all is spent, the sweet smell of the rain fills the air clear, cool, and crisp. The leaves on the ground are soaked so that your feet make no noise as you pass; a silent ghost in a sleeping world that is not your own. The world around you glows, polished clean from its heavenly bath. And then it happens: the first courageous bird begins to sing, lofting its voice above the trees, letting all know that life has been granted to all, if only for another precious day. Answering its song, the forest slowly comes to life as each animal returns to its many cares.
We truly live in a beautiful world.
Praise be to The Maker and Sustainer, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, our Savior, That Blessed Trinity, The Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
In Nomeni Patri, Et Fili, Spiritus Sancti. Amen.