A Welcome Rain

Last_LeavesThis autumn’s warmth has dominated the past two days. Yesterday we, and our neighbors, took the opportunity to complete yard work, retire gardens for the season, and put up holiday lights. As we did so, we were reminded these tasks are much easier when done in warm weather! Last night, new lights blessed the street.

This morning is dark and rainy, a welcome change given this year of drought. Later, the rain is forecast to change to snow, with significant accumulations likely in the mountains. This is achy body weather, welcome and dreaded; the aches will likely increase as the temperature drops. Given the extraordinary warmth in the arctic, I wonder how long this cold snap will last, and fervently hope winter will settle in for a healthy stay.

Like many, the past week we’ve been wrestling with the hatred let loose across the country and the world. I find myself struggling to grasp the Light!ruthlessness with which the Other is attacked, and the willingness to harm self and community in pursuit of some mythical concept of purity. I am reminded of the power of images, archetypes, and beliefs, and of their persistence in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Belief is powerful, and often good! My world is filled with forces and spirits unseen. Yet, I have come to understand that belief must be grounded in the everyday world, must “grow corn” to feed the community. If ideas cause suffering, they are most likely faulty. If behaviors harm self, others, or the environment, they are best let go of.  Of course, there are many times when things are unclear, when no action seems free of harm; at such times we hope to do the least harm possible. Always we are told to think , and vision, forward many generations, seemly a very challenging task for us humans.

As winter approaches, and ill tidings mount, we are reminded of the Windigo, the archetypal ice-hearted cannibal giants who, consumed by insatiable hunger, lose their humanity and destroy all that is held dear. There is always, as we have seen too often, the possibility they will be set free to roam the landscape, with devastating consequences.

RainI believe the Windigos are both a part of the human psyche, and external forces that influence us. The wise ones tell us that once freed, they are difficult, but not impossible, to stop. It takes a community, working together, to protect the vulnerable and to melt the Windigos’ hearts of ice, returning their humanity, or to exile them for the good of all. We shall see what we are able to do.




16 thoughts on “A Welcome Rain

  1. The winds of words and rhetoric are not Spirit Winds, and they are difficult to work with. Once there are real words of policy and law on the table, our work will become more clear, I think. One of the spells the rhetoric tries to cast seems to be designed to create victims. We can always refuse to act like victims; we can refuse to fall in step with systems; we can act creatively and purposefully, following our own values and uniting efforts with the many (who are not necessarily “the powerful”), thereby becoming self-reliant in a new community.

  2. It is difficult times Michael and we need to learn by this too.
    I received a message yesterday, that a huge European bank has stopped all support, as should have been used to build the pipe lines at Standing Rock. Now we need all the other banks to do the same. This should help too.
    Stay warm and take care of yourself 🙂

      1. Yes Michael, we are many, who also do what we can to support too. I find your email and forward an important message, where I also join tomorrow.
        We need all to do our best 🙂

  3. I’m glad that you’ve had some welcome rain Michael, November has been full of rain for us here. The Windigo seems a very apt being for the present time and I hope the community can come together to tame it.

  4. Beautiful and profound reflections, Michael. I found myself thinking about Windigos a few days ago, triggered by a photo of GOP Senators grinning voraciously under the headline that announced their eagerness to gut Medicare and Medicaid. I found myself wondering how anyone could enjoy causing suffering to others.

  5. Looking from Europe, the hysteria in the States that followed the elections is quite shocking. I mean, the fact that people didn’t see this coming makes it look like one half of the country has been invisible to the other half. Folks behave as if these millions of people who voted differently have just grown under the bushes overnight, like mushrooms. “We never saw this coming”. How is that possible?

    It’s probably because of what I hear from my American friends and what I see in films, that American society has this tendency to live in isolated bubbles, surrounded only by those who are very much like them. I always wondered how this can work and how far it can go. Folks choose to live in neighbourhoods where people with similar income / social status etc live, they pick their friends from among people who do not have much difference to offer (in terms of worldview), and it even seems that schools, workplaces and organisations etc are obsessed that their “philosophy” is absorbed and incorporated in the private life and intimate thinking processes of students/employees/members. How frequently does an average American person encounter “otherness” in the flesh and blood? How deeply are different kinds of people willing to share and interact with each other?

    Unfortunately, this is becoming the trend in Europe, as well, though we are not quite there yet. But I am not optimistic.

    1. Yes, isolation is a worrisome problem. Here in the States it appears there is an immense divide between those of us who live in complex cities, and those who live in islands of sameness. It is as though we live in different universes. This is so sad, and very dangerous.

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