It has been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon. We got a good rain on Wednesday, a long soaking rain, good for field and garden and lawn. It was so dry, no rain for a month. The ballpark grass looked dead last Sunday, the lake level fell and rocks showed in the river. It began to rain in the night Tuesday. People woke up and lay listening to it.
— Garrison Keillor, “Rain Means Life Continues in a Town that Time Forgot.” via Times Union – Albany NY. Date: Saturday, November 7, 1987 Section: MAIN, Page: 1A Excerpted from Leaving Home, published by Viking Penguin Inc.
It is one of those sorts of summer mornings here in my town, which in some ways time has forgot. It’s shaping up to be an “all day rain.”
Sometimes it’s wet
Sometimes it’s dry
You laugh–you forget
what made you cry
A day like this reminds me both of the story from Garrison Keillor and the song by Greg Brown. There is something so elemental and resonant about rain in particular, and water in general. Readers will note that Yoga Journal has already inspired me to write about “the big blue wet thing.” But what I think is captured in the story and song about rain is the way in which it gives us pause, particularly in the throes of summer.
Sometimes it takes a rainy day
Just to let you know
Everything’s gonna be – all right
I did go on my morning constitutional today, despite the rain. It started out as a drizzle, so I only wore my windbreaker. As the rain got more steady as I walked, I got soaked, but I’m grateful my cellphone stayed mostly dry. (Skin is waterproof.)
The rain today is very evocative for me of last weekend, when I went for a weekend retreat at Prakasa, a Yoga Studio in Goshen, MA, out west of the Connecticut River, which Henry David Thoreau, that old yogi and patron “saint” of Unitarian Universalism, visited in Bellows Falls, VT.
Fortunately, the rain didn’t last all weekend, and the sun seemed to come out at the most opportune times. For instance, a pretty heavy rain Saturday evening mellowed to a mystical fog on Sunday morning, which burned off in time for lunch and a midday excursion. The sun warmed a beautiful restorative practice which closed the weekend. This small sampling of photos from the weekend charts the course of this “flow.”
Flow-Summer Retreat at Prakasa, a set on Flickr.
The first slide is of mists rising beyond the roadside memorial at Snow Farm, where I had weekend accommodations, and where I was lulled to sleep by rain Saturday night. The next set are of the Bridge of Flowers, a converted trolley bridge, maintained by volunteers, which spans the river dividing Buckland and Shelburne Falls, MA, close to the falls themselves. The pictures that follow are of the glacially formed potholes at the falls, and the last photo is of the back garden of the studio on the sunny Sunday afternoon.
Water was partly only symbolic of the flow that characterized the weekend, which was very resonant with kapha, my predominant dosha. My friend who took the pictures of me made the arrangements for the accommodations and drove. Usually when I go away with the family, I am responsible for the logistics and driving. Usually kapha for me means earthy, steady, and solid. What a joy to flow, and to go along with the kula.
It is hard to imagine a more perfect retreat. Even what was imperfect was perfect. I had charged my cell phone the night before leaving, and usually that charge lasts at least three days, so I left my charger home. But what with all the roaming and vibrating, the battery was dead by the end of the first evening. I was cut off from all but most essential contact with home and social media, allowing myself to be encapsulated by the experience, to slow the pace, and to attune to nature and others. It was as it was meant to be, and I am grateful.
Of course, this small sampling of the many photos taken and many experiences had does not do the weekend justice. But particularly from the vantage point of an “all day rain,” “flow” is one organizing principle, one that embodies movement, that can capture the experience well. After all, this is what Anusara means, to go with the flow.