Category Archives: rain

Another day …

has come and gone.

It was a moiling day that recurrently required my attentiveness which, as expected, was absent.

Thoughts came and went and were often re-thought because I didn’t remember thinking them the first time.

I wanted to go to my falls and stand in the rain while they sang to me and absorbed my fears, comforted my spirit.

I couldn’t remember how to get there.

I did not know the path I have taken dozens of times

This journey I am on, as none I have taken before, may actually break me past the point of my brokenness.

I’m not afraid, though, for whether I live in the Lord or die in the Lord, I am in the Lord.

My feeling of insanity doesn’t phase Him.

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Rain, or something close …

is one of those mysterious things.

The glorious  free-fall from the heavens,  seeing the earth in all of its beauty.

There is nothing like it and yet I find myself mingling with the saltiness of tears.

Ones that are not my own, but even so, I have become one with her and her sorrow,  happiness, indifference.

Mayhaps that was my destiny.

A raindrop to find its way into and merging with a teardrop.

Adopting,  no … embracing the saltiness.  Sliding down her face, touching her, knowing her vulnerabilities. 

I am one with every emotion. Yes, mayhaps this was my destiny when I left the cloud.

Joy?

Sorrow?

Happiness?

A blessing or a curse?  

Either way, something magnificent. Something beyond the expected.

I have become more than just a drop of rain.

I am part of an emotion, a feeling, a moment in time. I am more than simply rain.

I am … well, I am reality, beauty and fantasy.

I. Am. Rain. And I am more magnificent than beautiful because, well,  because I am.

I suppose I am outspoken, etheral, arrogant.

Yes, I am rain and I arrogantly embrace it.

I am fact and fantasy,  reality and imagination.

I am high on the magnificence of it all.

Part of those mysterious things.

The glorious  free-fall from the heavens,  seeing the earth in all of its beauty.

Yes … I am rain.

There is something about rain …

the sound of it, anyway, that is mesmerizing.

I love it.

I find myself getting lost in it.

The soft sounds or the heavy, torrential pounding that a good storm can produce.

Imagine my joy when I recently learned that there is a musical instrument that can make the sound of rain.

It is called a rainstick and, as with all things that are new to me, I had to find out more about it.

What is it?  Where does it come from?  What is it made of?  What makes it work?  How does that sound get inside?

I asked all of these questions and went in search of answers.

I found them.

I was told only that the sound of rain in a friend’s musical composition was made by a rainstick which he described as “a percussion instrument that lets pebbles cascade over small spikes”.

With that image in mind,  it was hard for me to imagine something other than plinko.  You know, drop the disk and let it bounce off spikes and hope it falls into the slot you were shooting for.  It is a game, one of pure chance, and I was not about to be satisfied with that.

After researching the rainstick, I found the history of it to be most fascinating.  So fascinating, in fact, that I almost forgot why I was looking it up to begin with.

As it turns out, the origin of the traditional South American rain stick isn’t known, not definitively, anyway.  Indian tribes in Chile, Peru and Mexico all lay claim to having invented them, and one compelling theory contends that African slaves who arrived in the New World during the Spanish occupation brought them.

The euphonious sound of the traditional rainstick were supposedly once thought to have the power to bring rain and was used in prayer ceremonies among the Aztecs as well as others.  The sound was so lovely, however, that it made its way into the making of music, something that is as old as time itself.  Music.  And, now that I think about it, rain, as well.

The rainstick is made primarily from the dried Eulychnia acida, or Capao cactus after it has lived a long and healthy sixty plus years.  The “arms” are harvested, dried, cleaned and  hollowed out.  Spines are pushed into the hard body of the cactus and many very small stones are sealed inside.  When the instrument is inverted, the stones cascade along the helically spaced spikes making the sound of rain. (There are likely other varieties of cacti that rainsticks can be fashioned from, but Capao came up consistently in my research.)

Ingenious.

As with everything else, however,  it had to be classified, reclassified and sub-classified.  It is now known to be part of the percussion/shaken idiophone family.  The shaken part is, as any music nerd can likely tell you, a sub-category of the idiophone.  Me?  I had to look it up.

I listened to the piece that drew my attention to the instrument over and over while writing this post.  I listened to it because it is brilliantly done and pleasing to the ear.  The fact that is was written by a friend was coincidental, but he doesn’t need to know that I found such favor with it.  Don’t take my word for it, though, take a listen and judge for yourselves and then decide if you can live out the rest of your life without owning your own rainstick.

I decided that I couldn’t.  I’m expecting it in the mail by next Friday.

It has been a long few days …

or has it been weeks?

I haven’t posted anything new.

No blog posts.

No photographs.

Nothing.

I have been in a holding pattern of sleepwalking, nightmares and erotic dreams that leave me confused, wondering and bewildered …

and all the while, trying my very best to make it, without losing my cool, through the seemingly endless days and eventful nights.

I have had patients cry on me, their families strike me, people pulling at my heartstrings which are linked directly to my tear ducts and during all of this, trying to find out if I am to blame for something I had no control over.

I wonder if I have severed a crucial friendship and have already began to mourn the loss of it.

I have a way of ruining beautiful things because I rarely feel worthy of them.

I have slept outside, sent messages I wasn’t aware of and tried desperately to hold it together.

A difficult few days, indeed.

But tonight changed all that.

It came a storm.

A big one, with lots of lightning and torrential rain.

Normally, during such an event, I would be set up on the porch with my tripod and camera, but this time was different.

This one wasn’t to be documented and photographed.

It was to set my spirit free.

And it did.

I stood on the porch with my jeans and t-shirt, getting soaked.

But as time passed, I wanted no earthly barriers between me and the blessing that God was giving me.

A cleansing.

A fresh beginning.

Letting the past be past and bygones be bygones and memories no more than a blip on my radar.

One piece of clothing after another was discarded until I found myself standing nude and vulnerable under the rain, with the lightning flashing, the thunder bellowing, echoing between the mountains and valleys …

tears running down my face.

I prayed to a God that I had decided had forgotten me.

He hadn’t.

I think He was just waiting for me to remember Him.

It was frightening.

It was freeing.

I was liberated from the hold this world had on me.

I was, for that span of time, one with nature and the God who created it.

I still struggle with the emotions and thoughts in my head, but He designed my brain and is well acquainted with my mindless and sometimes senseless ramblings.

He doesn’t hold them against me and so I won’t hold them against myself.

Not everyone believes in my God.  I don’t find fault with them.  I know what I know, they know what they know.

I can only be who I am and, despite all my faults, and they are many, I feel at peace.

And despite that, my friends who don’t believe in my God like me anyway.

I am humbled by that.

Just  as I accept them, they accept me.

With our differences of opinions and thoughts.

It is irrelevant.

Isn’t that what it was supposed to be like?

Love one another?

Are my thoughts still burning through my head? Yes.

Do I still sometimes feel out of control? Yes.

Do I have someone to share the thoughts and emotions with? Yes, and I am thankful for them.

Do I wonder if I am making the right choices? Yes.

Following Christ doesn’t mean that everything is just peachy.  In all honesty, it is the opposite.

I don’t do it right, I never have, but I hope to at least encourage somebody along the way.

And selfishly, I hope to be encouraged.

I wonder sometimes if I am nothing more than the punching bag of the universe.  I don’t mind it if it keeps someone else from suffering, but every now and then, it wears on the soul.

And then, an incredible storm comes, I stand in the rain, and all is right again.

The circle of life.

It is what it is what it is what it is.

It is what we make of it that counts.

So make it count.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

People who drive convertibles …

learn some things that the average Joe may not consider.

Now, Jeep owners (which I dearly hope to become one day), consider what they drive a Jeep, but it is, without room for argument, at the end of the day, a convertible.

I’m not talking about the Jeeps that aren’t really Jeeps but call themselves one.  Those don’t count and will never count.  Sorry if your toes are stepped on, but really?

That being cleared up …

We learn to watch the sky.

We know the difference between just plain clouds, rain filled clouds and clouds that are in the process of emptying themselves onto the earth.

We know the difference between a fog bank and a rain band.

We know, when driving in familiar places, all the little turnouts that serve as places to put the top up quickly when there are rain bands and cloud emptying ahead.

We know how hard it is raining just by looking and as such, whether we can get by with leaving the top down and letting the sprinkles simply fly right past us or take the next turnout we come to and put the top up moments before the typhoon hits.

All of this being said, I found myself caught by surprise tonight.

I was nearly home after attending an event my daughter had invited me to at her University.

Eight miles to go.  Only eight.

But I wasn’t paying attention to the sky.  No, I was blasting the Eurythmics at earsplitting and singing along with Annie and David.

I ran into the rain, in between turnouts, and it was, as people around these parts say, a frog strangler.

Before I could get to the next turnout, pull over and put the top up, I was soaked to the skin and so cold, my goosebumps had goosebumps.

I find it ironic that the song I was singing at the top of my lungs while driving much faster than the law allows was none other than “Here Comes the Rain Again”.

Coincidence?  I don’t believe in them.

Fate?  Hardly.  What would it have to prove?

Pure ecstasy at driving free and wild with the music loud and getting rained on?

Yep.

That made my night and smoothed over a minor “simply couldn’t be helped” disappointment.

Life.  It often isn’t easy, but if you can live through it, it’s a lot of fun.

rain is one of my favorite things ... it comes just after snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes ...

rain is one of my favorite things … it comes just after snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes …

Here comes the rain …

as it has for the past several days and, if truth be told, off and on during the entire summer.

I have heard much complaining and lamenting about the rain but I am not one of those lamenters.

Lamenters, for those who are shaking their head and saying that Gina is making up words again, is a real word.

I love the sound of the rain.

The song it sings, the  music it makes, the symphony it employs, the instruments of nature it brings into its midst; wind, leaves rustling, grass shuddering, thunder bellowing.  There are few things more magnificent than the first drops that fall only to be followed shortly by a cacophony of sound that only God can make.

And soon, it will be Autumn and the leaves will be, much in part due to the gratuitous rain, brilliant.

Anyone who lives in the mountains where seasons meld one into another knows that a rainy summer brings on an awe-inspired, much-anticipated, brilliant beyond imagination, much sought after, Autumn.

I shiver in anticipation of October.

Tit for tat.

It can’t all be perfect.  Can’t all be just exactly what everyone wants for everyone wants something different.

My dreams are different from a hundred others’.  Their dreams are different from mine.

But with patience, they all come to fruition.

Patience is the key.  That and faith, which makes the patience less daunting.

James Taylor sang “I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end’.

I feel like that sometimes.

Feel that if there isn’t rain, or a storm or some wind and some lightning that I will simply wither away into nothingness and everything I ever hoped to accomplish will be in vain.

I need the rain.

I need the thunder.

I need the storm.

Without it, I am insignificant.  And I don’t want to be insignificant.

Embrace the rain.  Stand in it and let it saturate you to the skin.  Revel in the wonder and magnificence of water falling from the skies.

It is beautiful if you let it be.

So let it be.

Play in the rain.

And be joyful.

without rain, an impossibility

without rain, an impossibility

I’ve said it before …

and I’ll say it again.  I am much too soft-hearted to be a  nurse.  So many things that I come into contact with on a daily basis makes me want to weep and scream at the injustice of life.

I am supposed to simply speak to people and let them know that they are not just a patient, but it isn’t  that simple.  They are people to me.

They are my mother.

They are my father.

They are my daughter, nieces and sister.

They become part of my heart and being and I take them home with me.

I have cried many, many tears for those that I visit with.  I have held their hands, held their family’s hands and prayed with them.  I try to leave them where they are, but they won’t stay there.

They come home with me.  I think about them and hope that they will live until morning; hope that if they don’t, their sons, daughters, mothers and fathers will be able to cope with loss of their existence.

I want to be strong.  I will myself to be stoic and unattached, but that lasts as long as the mist under a strong morning sunrise.  I love these people.  I fall in love with their families and I feel the pain, sorrow and devastation of their loss on every front.

The older I get, the more squeamish, melancholic and dramatic I become.  I surely thought that I would be stronger and more able to control my emotions at this point, but the truth is that I am more susceptible to emotion and empathy than I ever thought possible.

Sometimes, things happen that are funny and yet, the humor battles sorrow for there is nothing beautiful or funny about someone who doesn’t know who they are or where they are or what they have accomplished in their lives.  The emptiness is devastating.  I find myself bringing people home with me in my thoughts and crying over their infirmities.

I never wanted to be a nurse.  I wanted to be a photographer.  I wonder sometimes if I don’t make a better nurse than a photographer.  And then I realize that I can be both.

One makes me a better of the other.

I photograph for the sheer pleasure of it and  yet, when photographs are forbidden, I see past what is present.  I am thankful, on many levels, for the blessings bestowed upon me.

I am a nurse.

I am a photographer.

I am myself.

I am content.

What more can anyone ask than to be content in the life they are living.

I am, above all things, thankful, for the joys, the trials, the triumphs and the the lessons.  Thankful for the things that hurt me and those that bring me joy.

One without the other is insubstantial; combined, they are powerful beyond the description of words.

I. Am. Blessed.

And I am thankful.  The images, whether in real time or captured on film are what life is about.  Life is images and images make up life.

Again I say, I. Am. Blessed.

Bodie Island Lighthouse (my OBX favorite)bodieislandlighthouse

Matt … a truly beautiful human … hatteras_lightning-59

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A doe at Bodie Island hatteras_lightning-71

Beach Beauties … outerbanks_day1-327