by dr. susan nettleton
Rainstorms in the desert leave the land and air cleansed and fresh. Plant life thrives; suddenly blooms and growth are everywhere. Rain is one of the ways nature renews itself. As people, we have our ways of renewal through cleansing. We bathe and shower, brush our teeth, wash our hair, rinse our wounds. We clean our houses and clear our yards. We have both modern and ancient techniques of healthful “cleansing” for the body. Even in the world of technology, we have to reset and refresh; we empty “the trash,” clear the cache, and clean up our hard drives. How do we clean our minds and hearts? How do we renew and refresh our spirit? What accumulated debris and residual contaminants need to be washed away so that we too may blossom? All religions have their various rituals of cleansing: prayer, confession, pilgrimage, amends, forgiveness, meditation, surrender are all potentially ways of renewal. The Sufi poet Rumi speaks of “Unseen Rain,” the Invisible correlate of nature’s rain that both cleans and nourishes our hearts. We can wait until the tensions of life build within us to a pressure that must/will be released, like the building of a thunderstorm, or we can treat ourselves to a daily shower of “Unseen Rain” in daily spiritual practice. One way or another, Life will constantly be made new.