Ravens and Doves and Tall Grass

It’s been raining. A lot. I mean, the Potomac River is so high it could star in a Cheech and Chong movie.  It’s been raining a lot.  And then today, this weird thing happened. The sun was out all day, and it was hot.  And it didn’t rain. All day it didn’t rain! I mean, it’s been raining for, like, 40! (Forty is biblical code for a long time or a lot, by the way).

So I did this wild thing today. I went…outside! I serve a rural church, and I’ll be leaving here soon, and I’d never completely explored the church property up to now.  And there’s a lot of property.  Acres and acres.

The church is bounded by a highway on one side (where the entrance is) and railroad tracks on the other — through the woods.  And today I took a walk through the woods all the way to the train tracks.

From the highway, there are places where the train tracks are visible, and they don’t look so far away, and when the train comes through it sounds very close, but it’s really a good way off.  The rain’s been coming down for so long that even though there’s a path through the woods, it’s covered in fairly tall grass now.  And everywhere flowers were blooming.

I kept walking, listening to the birds in the trees – I couldn’t see them, hidden in the foliage, but they provided a glorious soundtrack.  As I’d never walked the path before, I didn’t know quite where I was going, but there was a path, and I figured I’d get there eventually. I knew there would be train tracks, and I knew that I’d be able to turn around and follow the path back to the church.

And then I thought of the raven and the doves.  After the great flood, Noah sent out first, a raven, who found no place to land, and then a dove. He sent the dove out three times, and each time, the way became more clear.  The waters were receding.

The waters have receded.  It’s possible to go out again.  And there are so many wonderful things to discover. Wild strawberries growing along the way.  Daisies and little purple flowers. Tall grass. Blue skies.  Train tracks and a house on the other side.

I’m so happy that it’s stopped raining. It was beginning to drag me down.  It was so nice to be out in the woods today. But here’s the thing about that.  The woods were so lush. They were bursting with color and fragrance and sound.  Because of the rain.

The raven and the dove, they went out looking for a world that had been lost to them. But ultimately, the dove found trees in bloom, and then went off, presumably to nest in a tree, never to return to the ark.

The world around me is in bloom.  The wild strawberries, the daisies, and the purple flowers all need the sun and the rain. And so do we.  And I’ll try to remember that — and my walk through the woods, the next time it rains for 40 days.

That’s my mite. It’s all I’ve got.


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