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between our steps 03 25 20 double
After the dull grey of winter, the only contrast a white blanket of snow and the occasional flash of blue sky, I had forgotten how luminous a rainy day can be. Not the downpours when you can hardly see the road, but a day like last Friday when the sky is pearly grey, the light soft, and the wet world shines.

The asphalt of the road had been washed clean of salt and sand. Wet and slick, it shone ebony black. Tree trunks soaked with rain gleamed against the backdrop of bright brown leaves.

It was the leaves that first got my attention. On a dry day now, they are pressed against the ground, grey and dull brown, very much dead. But in the rain, their colour came alive, a deep red-brown. No longer pressed flat, they released their hold on the ground, curling upward. In the pearly light, they glistened.

After the quiet of winter, where water flowed there was music. Snow melt flowed from the woods through cracks between the rocks. Gurgling over stones, rivulets gathered beside the road. Moving through culverts, it fell in cascades of shining silver, white, and clear grey as streams carried water home to the bay.

Eventually, the first green leaves, the first white snow drops and purple crocuses will bring colour back to our world. But the first rains begin the transformation from dull, slate grey to light and life.

As we enter this season of rains and new life, I'd like to share one of my favorite traditional Celtic blessings. We all know the words "May the road rise to meet you...," and I am moved by the blessing of light that includes light shining from our eyes like a candle set in the window biding the stranger to come in. But the blessing of rain washes over the spirit with light and life and peace. Here it is:

"May the blessing of rain be upon us, the soft sweet rain. May it fall upon our spirits so that we bloom like flowers shedding sweetness in the air.

"May the blessing of the great rains be upon us. May they beat upon our spirits, wash us fair and clean, leaving a shining pool, which reflects the blue of the heavens, and sometimes a star.

"May the deep peace of the running wave be in us, the peace of water flowing, rising and falling, sometimes advancing, sometimes receding.

"May the streams of our life flow on."

Cathy Hird lives on the shore of Georgian Bay where snow is almost gone.

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