Grey Winds

I begin to think the world is made of rain. The other evening, when the sun came out so incongruously, I couldn’t shake the feeling it was mid-afternoon at nine o’clock at night.

Yesterday, a flood. The wind has swept through mercilessly, and I fear for my small, fresh-sprung garden growth. The rain came down like mallets, on and off, but never quite letting go its grip on the darkling world.

And in some respects, I can feel it. I have tears in my heart. I watch the world go by divided, angry and untrusting, and I remember being small.

I was a child who talked to puppets at public children’s shows. I talked to animals and trees. My world was full of living, and everything had some inherent meaning, value, purpose. Because it was beautiful, and my soul never could reach for how a beautiful thing could not mean anything. Surely pure wonder and delight is a sensation of pure meaning.

I remember the thunder, when I was ten. Standing in the yard, head thrown back as lightning cracked the sky open overhead, feeling the world shake me to my core. The fierceness and the joy of it have never left me.

I remember the rain, when I was fifteen. It tracked across the wide, wild sky and left the world washed clean. To the west, a sunburst from a painting: only living, moving, depthless. Looking up, overhead, the golden afterglow faded softly to blue and then to a colour like midnight in the northern summer, when the sky is never truly void of light. Across the east, where thunderous heads billowed darkly, a perfect rainbow.

And beneath its arch, as if placed too deliberately for chance, a tiny wisp of white cloud, all alone.

The bow touched a vivid earth, storm-washed, green in its foundations, tinged with that rosy cast that a prairie evening throws across the quilted spread of the land.

And I shivered and wept.

Surely there must be a god. My heart ached for there to be.

But there was not. There was no room in the logical set of things, and yet…that evening’s artistry left no room for chance. So I shed tears of awe and disbelief, and shivered emptily for what I knew, and could not know.

This week, the wind is grey and forbidding, cool and tasting of mist and earth. I cannot fault it. It’s the spring, a cantankerous one, a wild horse striding the sky and daring the puny hand of man to challenge its freedom. In spite of all its fierceness, there in the garden stand the newly-planted tomato seedlings, dancing in the weather.

And I wonder at the strength of young and growing things to thrive and find joy in a world that should destroy them.

Is that not enough? Is it not enough to know there must be a God, there is a God who calls us? Who even gives His name to us, and the treasure of His Son. He died for my sins that I might live to God.

But no, in that knowledge, it seems we must battle each other for what is righter than, better than, purer than, safer than, cleaner than. And all the while, as we whirl by blind on our gaudily tinkling merry-go-rounds, this world tears at itself; and somehow still, a silent miracle — green things thrive in cold, grey winds.

So the heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth sings His praises. The Spirit’s like the wind: I don’t know where it comes from, or where it’s going. But it can knock me to my knees, all the fulness of pride swept away and only the grey of my tears before me.

Yet I remember the Artist’s work. Firmly rooted and built up in Him, the gale’s force strengthens feeble, tender limbs. And I dance in storms.