Last Thursday, Quinn and I got caught in the rain on our walk back from getting frozen yogurt. A few years ago we discovered a way to cut through the woods a come out near some shops by our house without hitting the main road. Quinn asked me recently why I liked walking there instead of driving, and I replied, "because it makes me feel like we're in a story and something crazy might happen!" Now we have to chase villains and fight off monsters and wonder if we're going to get sucked up by aliens. So getting stuck in the rain simply inspired us to become boats, though being a boat certainly did not help us avoid getting wet.
Each year, the first time I get caught in a summer rain, I'm always caught off guard, even more so this year, since April feels like summer. I'm expecting the piercing cold of winter rains to cut into my skin, so I hunch over and hide under trees. But when I finally run out into it, I'm taken aback by the loveliness of the soft rain kissing my skin. And I laugh. I always laugh. Cause I'm nuts, probably, but I love it.
So Thursday night, for the first time in a long time, I felt invigorated, like everything was going to be okay. Because lately I've felt, well, kind of left behind by God.
I opened for my beloved,
but my beloved had left; he was gone.
My heart sank at his departure.
I looked for him but did not find him.
I called him but he did not answer.
7 The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
they took away my cloak,
those watchmen of the walls! (Song of Songs 5:6-7)
I struggle lately with feeling like I've missed the bus. I know a lot of it has to do with the process of reorienting of my life now that Emmett's gone, but I feel like one of those unwise virgins who forgot to bring extra oil in the parable and so missed the wedding. Is that it, really? I just looked the other way for one minute and the bus passed me by.
That's how I've been feeling for a long time. And Thursday, I started to feel a little better emotionally. Then I got sick. The "lay-in-bed-face-down-for five-days-and-try-to-will-yourself-into-a-parallel-universe-where-you're-not-really-sick" kind of sick. I finally started some good drugs last night, and slowly, very slowly, I've been coming out of the sickness fog, and it feels very similar to coming out of my spiritual fog.
So this afternoon when I woke up from a nap and had that rubbery muscle feeling like I was half Gumby and half pilates rock star because I finally wasn't hurting all over. I swear I could have stretched my hand to my foot without bending a single joint, kind of like Inspector Gadget. Well, I guess that's how my soul feels too, all stretchy and limitless.
So I read Song of Songs when I woke up this afternoon. And though some of the imagery makes me chuckle, (teeth like flocks of sheep just shorn, anyone?), it was good to be reminded of God's love for me:
You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
10 How delightful is your love , my sister, my bride!
How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your perfume
more than any spice! (Song of Songs 4: 9-10)