Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

When It Rains It Pours…

There are times when you come across a song, a book, or a quote that is so inspiring and thought-provoking that you have to share it with the world.  I’m a big fan of Thomas Merton.  I got hooked after reading, “The Seven Storey Mountain”.  I found his life experience to be intriguing and his words not only wise, but insightful.  I’ve read other books by Merton and I get a weekly reflection from The Merton Institute, www.mertoninstitute.org.

I’m not the type who can usually sit and meditate.  I’m a fidgety person and my mind races.  I’m also not always the most patient person on the planet.  I’m better at a walking meditation or an art inspired meditation because if my hands or feet are busy with something repetitive it allows my mind to be at peace.  Then I got yesterday’s reflection and I have to share it with you….

“The rain I am in is not like the rain of cities.  It fills the woods with an immense and confused sound.  It covers the flat roof of the cabin and its porch with insistent rhythms.  And I listen, because it reminds me again and again that the whole world runs by rhythms I have not yet learned to recognize, rhythm that are not those of the engineer.”  (From Thomas Merton, Raids on Unspeakable, New York:New Directions, 1966, p. 9)

The reflection caught me off guard.  I was probably hurrying through the reflection (see I’m not the most patient) but it caught me and I had to slow down, read it again and again.  As I sat with it I thought about the rain and the rhythm.  For those of us facing a chronic or other life-altering illness we become very attune to rhythms.  If you sit quiet enough you can hear or feel the rhythms of the body such as your heartbeat or your pulse.  You can listen to the rhythm of your breath, that often makes me calmer.

The world for those with health challenges is full of rhythms.  Time can have a rhythm, routines are a rhythm, and your thoughts may be rhythmic.  You may notice the rhythms at the doctor’s office or the lab where you go for tests.  You may recognize the rhythm of an infusion machine or dialysis machine.  If you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or some forms of Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome the world is filled with rhythms both internally and externally.

I believe it may take the rain falling on the roof to remind of us the rhythms of life.  The rhythms of life become familiar and that makes the rhythm or the routine a bit easier to handle.  It’s familiar so it’s not necessarily working against us; but providing a stability in some cases and that can be helpful.  If you aren’t tuned into the rhythms of your world; the next time it rains just sit in a chair and experience the rhythm of the rain.  See how the rhythms of the rain falling make you feel, what memories they bring up, or the comfort it may bring.

I’d love to hear about the rhythms in your life, after all when we put all our rhythms together we make a beautiful symphony!

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