We celebrate another day of wonderful drought-relieving rain. The pounding started some time after midnight, as if a herd of wild angels had descended from the passing night clouds. When I awoke, I stepped out to the side of the house to watch a water fall that had built up overnight and was rushing down our hill side. Even now in the late morning there is still too much falling to venture out without getting a good soaking, so I sit indoors at the computer and listen to the sounds. One rain gutter overflows and water splashes below onto a surface of paving stones. Meanwhile, continuously overhead new sporadic bands of rain hit the skylight in kettle-drum fashion. The earth is so alive this morning. The present moment is a beautiful moment.
I read the Sufi poet Rumi regularly. The reading this morning was titled “Hallaj”. He says in this poem that he jumped into a river because he saw a fur coat drifting by. I suppose he thought that he would be able to bring the coat to shore and keep it for himself. He soon discovered that the coat was actually a bear and that the bear was intending to wear Rumi home instead.
How much it is like that for me when I think I have found some great and wonderful thing, thinking that I can obtain it and keep it for myself, when only later to find out that the thing actually has me. Things can take from me my inner peace and calm, as if I am trading in my own happiness for inanimate objects instead. My house, my usual living space, even though modest, still feels cluttered and threatens to steal all my attention by causing me to fuss and bother about things, their condition, their cleanliness or lack thereof, their prominent display or accessibility–how much effort I am able to spend in my absorption over things, when the source of my good feelings has nothing to do with things, but with practicing control of my own interior disposition.