The Beautiful Storm

There is a storm over us. I love the summer storms here. I go out to stand in them, my toes in the soft, wet grass and the rain on my face, soaking my clothes through to my skin as lightning flashes in the sky and thunder crashes and rolls across the land.

Great Lord of Thunder and Lightning, holy Goddess of Wind and Rain, thank you for this gift of life, of fertility, of inspiration, passion and courage. I salute you, I honor you and I ask for your blessing.

For something less self-involved:

Rain (Rapa Nui) by Pablo Neruda

No, better the Queen not recognize
your face, it’s sweeter
this way, my love, far from the effigies, the weight
of your hair in my hands. Do you remember
the Mangareva tree whose flowers fell
in your hair? These fingers are not like
the white petals: look at them they are like roots,
they are like stone shoots over which the lizard
slides. Don’t be afraid, we will wait for the rain to fall, naked,
the rain, the same as falls over Manu Tara.But just as water inures its strokes on the stone,
it falls on us, washing us softly
towards obscurity down below the hole
of Ranu Raraku. And so
don’t let the fishermen or the wine-pitcher see you.
Bury your twin-burning breast on my mouth,
and let your head of hair be a small night for me,
a darkness of wet perfume enveloping me.At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain. Sometimes
I think that with death we will seep below,
in the depths at the feet of he effigy, looking over
the ocean which brought us here to build and make love.

My hands were not ferrous when they met you, the waters
of another sea went through them as through a net; now
water and stones sustain seeds and secrets.

Sleeping and naked, love me: on the shore
you are like the island: your love confused, your love
astonished, hidden in the cavity of dreams,
is like the movement of the sea around us.

And when I too begin falling asleep
in your love, naked,
leave my hand between your breasts so it can throb
along with your nipples wet with rain.

 

Amenimo Makezu (Unbeaten by Rain)
by Kenji Miyazawa

Unbeaten by rain
Unbeaten by wind
Neither by the snow nor the summer heat
Having a healthy body
Freed from greed
Never getting angry
Always smiling quietly
Having four cups of brown rice a day
With miso and a small amount of vegetables
Doing all things
Without calculating selfish ego
Seeing, asking, and understanding these things well
And not forgetting
In the shadow of the pine forest in the field
Living in a small thatched house
If there is a sick child in the east
Go and take care of him
If there is an exhausted mother in the west
Go and carry a bunch of rice stalks for her
If there is a man near death in the south
Go and tell him not to be afraid
If there is a fight and a court case in the north
Go and persuade them to stop it
because it is not worth it
Shedding tears on a scorching day
Walking with worry on a cool summer day
Being called a fool by everyone
Neither to be praised,
Nor to be worried
Such a person I want to be

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Kipling

Eddi’s Service

(A.D. 687)

Eddi, priest of St. Wilfrid
  In his chapel at Manhood End,
Ordered a midnight service
  For such as cared to attend.

But the Saxons were keeping Christmas,
  And the night was stormy as well.
Nobody came to service,
  Though Eddi rang the bell.

"'Wicked weather for walking,"
  Said Eddi of Manhood End.
"But I must go on with the service
  For such as care to attend."

The altar-lamps were lighted, --
  An old marsh-donkey came,
Bold as a guest invited,
  And stared at the guttering flame.

The storm beat on at the windows,
  The water splashed on the floor,
And a wet, yoke-weary bullock
  Pushed in through the open door.

"How do I know what is greatest,
  How do I know what is least?
That is My Father's business,"
  Said Eddi, Wilfrid's priest.

"But -- three are gathered together --
  Listen to me and attend.
I bring good news, my brethren!"
  Said Eddi of Manhood End.

And he told the Ox of a Manger
  And a Stall in Bethlehem,
And he spoke to the Ass of a Rider,
  That rode to Jerusalem.

They steamed and dripped in the chancel,
  They listened and never stirred,
While, just as though they were Bishops,
  Eddi preached them The World,

Till the gale blew off on the marshes
  And the windows showed the day,
And the Ox and the Ass together
  Wheeled and clattered away.

And when the Saxons mocked him,
  Said Eddi of Manhood End,
"I dare not shut His chapel
  On such as care to attend."